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An Historical Quarterly 


(Ne\v Series, Volume XXVIII 











AMERICA 1700-1800. Herman J. Muller 3 



KNIGHTS OF LABOR. Gerald N. Grob 39 


AND ARIZONA. Alberto Francisco Pradeau 56 




AND CONSISTENCY. ]ohn J. Whealen 73 



NEW ORLEANS. Donald G. Castanien 96 


PROGREssiviSM, 1911-1914. Herbert F. Margulies .... 131 




OF wooDROW WILSON. Monroe Billington 180 


PROGRESSIVISM. Charles N. Glaab 195 


CAMPAIGN OF 1912. H. Wayne Morgan 210 


MILITARY CLASS, 1870-1890. Charles W. Simmons . . . . 227 

BOOK REVIEWS 112, 192, 239 

NOTES AND COMMENTS 59, 120, 243 

INDEX 245 

^0,^1 1'^ 


An Historical Review 





Published by Loyola University 
Chicago 26, Illinois 


An Historical Review 


An Historical Review 





AMERICA 1700-1800 Herman J. Muller 3 



KNIGHTS OF LABOR Gerald N. Grab 39 


AND ARIZONA Alberto Francisco Pradeau 56 







Published quarterly by Loyola University (The Institute of Jesuit History) 
at 50 cents a copy. Annual subscription, $2.00; in foreign countries, $2.50. 
Publication and editorial offices at Loyola University, 6525 Sheridan Road, 
Chicago 26, Illinois. All communications should be addressed to the Manag- 
ing Editor. Entered as second class matter, August 7, 1929, at the post 
office at Chicago, Illinois, under the Act of March 3, 1879, Additional entry 
as second class matter at the post office at Effingham, Illinois. Printed in 
the United States. 


An Historical Review 



British Business and Spanish 
America 1700-1800 

The year 1521 marked an important turning point in the mer- 
cantile history of Europe. In that year Hernan Cortes completed 
his conquest of the Aztec capital which became Mexico City. He 
had gone in quest of a trading people similar to those found by the 
Portuguese in India and had found people and teeming cities. More 
important he had written letters glorifying himself and his conquest 
while presenting a highly glamorous picture of the vast wealth of 
the newly found empire. Word of wealth quickly spread through 
European marts among the merchants that the Americas might 
supply an abundance of the commodities for the increasing number 
of merchants, the long coveted raw products, the trade outlet, the 
gold, silver, precious stones, silks and spices. 

Spain's good fortune was almost immediately to result in envy 
on the part of her rivals, which became deeply rooted as the decades 
passed and developed into a hatred of Spain that far outlives her 
fall in prestige. The green eyed monster first reared its head when 
the king of France caught the new implications of the Treaty of 
Tordesillas which had divided the world between Spain and Portugal. 
If Portugal had Africa and the Orient and Spain had the New 
World to say nothing of most of continental Europe, France assuredly 
had no mercantile future. The irate King Francis, even as Louis 
XII, forgetting for the moment all his Mediterranean and European 
intrigues demanded to be shown the will of "our common father 
Adam" which had made the two countries sole heirs to the world. 
This denial of Spain's right to take infidel lands overseas was the 
basis for the subsequent attacks on Spain's colonies by British, French, 



Dutch and Portuguese privateers and pirates, not to mention the more 
recent fihbusters from the United States or the proponents of the 
Spanish-American War. 

The British attitude toward Spain's conquest of the Americas 
was crystal ized in the time of EHzabeth when tiie idea became: Be- 
yond the line of Demarcation — no law. America by this standard 
was still open to attack and conquest by Britishers. It was aptly 
rationalized two centuries later by an anonymous British author. 
This one set out to prove that "the sovereign sole Dominion, 
claimed by the crown of Spain to the West Indies, is founded upon 
an unjustifiable possession."^ He then expounded the British pre- 

The va'm and boundless Pretensions of Spain to that great Continent of 
America, whose northern limits are yet unknown, and some of whose vast 
inland Tracts of the southern Parts have never been visited by any European, 
cannot but be surprising to all those who know upon what Footing her 
Pretensions are grounded; especially, when she takes upon herself to ques- 
tion the lawful Rights and Possessions of the British Nation in that Part 
of the World; and by an arbitrary, and unwarrantable Authority, pretends 
to set Limits and Boundaries in the greatest of Oceans, whereby to exclude 
all others from sailing past the same.^ 

The writer then offers proofs for the priority rights of the 
British, even using the story of Modoc, youngest son of Owen 
Gwyneth, Prince of Wales, and his legendary coming to America 
in the year 1170 in support of them. After a tirade against Spanish 
aggression the writer reached the conclusion which had been reached 
in the sixteenth century and had been acted upon since that time: 

Upon the whole, this Pretended Right of Spain, to that Part of the World, 
is not to be looked upon in any other Light, than as a Thing which any 
other Poiver has equal Right to attack, and dispossess her of, without any 
Manner of Scruple or Reserve. . . .^ 

Who was there to gainsay the argument of the Sailor or ask to see 
the will of common father Adam bequeathing the trade of the world 
to Britain ? The British of that time were well on the way to taking 
over all French colonies. Without taking possession of very much 
of the Spanish continental holdings in the Americas the British 
had been enjoying a flourishing trade at Portobelo, at Colonia, and 
at many of the ports visited by private merchants. It is possible that 

1 Anon., The British Sailor's Discovery, London, 1739, sub-title. 

2 Ihid., 2-3. 

3 Ibid., 31-32. 


the anonymous Sailor's words were war talk, since the War of 
Jenkins' Ear began in the year the book was published. 

The steps toward Britain's eighteenth century power on the 
seas, in commerce, and in business have often been recorded. Begin- 
ning with the sale of slaves to the Spaniards in the Americas in 
mid-sixteenth century the slavers did a highly profitable business 
for over two centuries in that one human commodity. The slave 
labor produced unheard of raw products for manufacture and con- 
sumption in the British Isles and foreign markets. When the Spanish 
mines in America began yielding abundant silver pirates scoured the 
seas for the Spanish bullion ships capturing unknown tons of silver 
from the 1560's on to the 1700's. The British crown during these 
times regularly employed outstanding pirates, since it was too costly 
to control them. Most memorable was Francis Drake, a most notori- 
ous scourge and viscious murderer to Spain's colonists, a gentleman 
adventurer to Elizabeth, the founder of the British navy, the idol 
of the British youth. Surely, on the principle that Spain had no 
rights and that a Britisher, slaver, pirate or "fence," could do no 
wrong, the psychology for empire building was set. The defeat 
of the Armada not only established a high morale and an increasing 
lust for seafaring on the part of the British but it threw Spain into 
a defensive, Spain that in 1588 controlled all of the Portuguese 
possessions, and therefore ruled the colonies of the world in the 
Orient, India, Africa and the Americas. 

Britain developed manufacturing. Spain did not. Spain had 
no business sense nor trade inclinations; with plenty of silver and 
its purchasing possibilities there seemed no need to trade or manu- 
facture or distribute. She did employ innumerable officials, clerks, 
tax-gatherers, and the elaborate colonial systems so familiar to stu- 
dents of Spanish American history, but she was not a business- 
minded nation. 

In his scholarly work on Elizabethan England Black points out: 

The Englishman of the Tudor period was not by nature or tradition an 
explorer or a conquistador. The cult of the map and flag was unknown 
to him: he had no desire to search out the distant places of the earth, or to 
found a new England beyond the seas ... In other words, it was trading and 
buccaneering . . . that gave birth to the greatest period of English exploit 
on the sea. 4 

Pares explains the British mentality and justification for piracy 
when he states: "For peoples whose resources in men and especially 

4 J. B. Black, The Reign of Elizabeth 1558-1603, Oxford, 1936, 195. 


in money were small, it was easier, no doubt, to fit out a plundering 
expedition against the galleons than to find capital for the begin- 
ning of a plantation."'' 

The Dover Rovers, the Sea Rovers, the Sea Dogs, the Gentlemen 
Adventurers assuredly made England sea-minded and colony-mind- 
ed.^ In the seventeenth century the amazing spectacle of the English 
swarming to the Americas took place. The conformists were given 
grants and charters to islands of the West Indies, the non-conformers 
to the eastern coast of North America. The beach-heads of empire 
were established. By the middle of the century the British middle 
class had taken two lessons to heart: the lesson of Spain's failure 
to develop a diversified economy in the presence of her silver assets, 
and the lesson of Dutch success."^ The conclusion was that real 
wealth lay rather in commerce and industry, which put people to 
work, aided in population growth, brought in raw materials, pro- 
cured markets for surplus manufactures, and educated a business 
class.^ The Dutch had proved that gold and silver gotten through 
industry was of greater advantage than that acquired in other ways.^ 

The Cromwell era proved that the King and Lords were not 
capable of running the business of Empire, that is trade, and that 
the business heads should do so, but while the country agreed 
to the principle it was in no wise ready to allow dissenters and non- 
conformists to take the helm. The Glorious Revolution on its 
economic side decided the issue that Commoners were the succes- 
sors to rather than the servants of royal administrators. It would 
be their enterprise to continue the mercantilist tradition in the 
Americas, particularly in Spanish America where Spain was failing. 
The eighteenth century reveals the application of the well digested 
principles as the literature of the period reveals. 

Erasmus Philipps, in his State of the Nation, compares money in 
itself, that is without trade, to "stagnated Water," since it is just 
about as useful. Spain, he tells us, 

is a living Instance of this Truth; the Mines of Peru and Mexico made that 

5 R. Pares, War and Trade in the West Indies 1739-1763, Oxford, 
1936, 1-2. 

6 Black, Reign of Elizabeth, 320. 

7 It should be remembered here that throughout the sixteenth century- 
men were attempting to analyze the roots and foundations of power, 
just as on the religious side they were debating the authority of the 
Scriptures and religious leaders and the Church. 

8 E. A. Benians, "Financial Experiments and Colonial Development," 
in The Cambridge Modern History, Vol. VI, Chapter VI, 168. 

9 Pares, War and Trade in the West Indies, 2. 


People think themselves above Industry; an Innundation of Gold and Silver 
swept away all useful Arts, and a total Neglect of Labour and Commerce 
has made them as it were the Receivers only for the rest of the World. ^^ 

Philipps then considers Holland as a typical example of what trade 
can do for a nation. Feeble in origin, small in size, and with few 
natural resources, she has become the "Seat of Riches and Plenty," 
and this in spite of her constant battle with the sea, in spite of the 
great Monarchies that surround her. 

Earlier still, Daniel Defoe of Robinson Crusoe fame, writing in 
his Review, looked with scorn on nations like Spain which valued 
themselves upon abstracted nobility and made it criminal to their 
characters to mix with the trading part of the people. ^^ The fol- 
lowing excerpt shows how strongly Defoe felt about the importance 
of trade to the English nation: 

England is a Trading Nation, . . . and the Blood of Trade is mixed and 
blended with the Blood of Gallantry, so that Trade is the Life of the Nation, 
the soul of its Felicity, the Spring of its Wealth, the Support of its Great- 
ness, and the Staff on which both King and People lean, and which (if it 
should sink) the whole Fabrick must fall, the Body Politick would sicken 
and languish, its Power decline, and the Figure it makes in the World, grow 
by degrees, most Contemptibly Mean. 12 

Erasmus Philipps, possibly following Defoe's lead, also likens 
trade to human blood. It diffuses itself by the tiniest arteries into 
every part of a nation and gives it life and strength. Without trade 
no nation can expect to be happy. Nor can she defend herself 
against the attacks of external foes.^^ 

If then upon trade the very "riches and grandeur of this nation 
chiefly depended," as the king himself remarked in 1721,^'* it was 
evident that a favorable balance must be struck at all costs. What 
contemporaries understood by a favorable balance of trade is patent 
from the following citations. Thus William Wood, in his Survey 
of Trade, sets down what he calls the four "Marks of a Beneficial 
Trade." In substance these are as follows, (l) That is good trade 
which absorbs superfluous home manufactures. (2) Beneficial too 
is that which brings in raw products of manufacture especially when 

10 Erasmus Philipps, The State of the Nation In Respect to her Com- 
merce, Debts, and Money, London, 1725, 2-3. 

11 Defoe's Revieiv, C. M. Andrews, ed. Publication No. 44 of the 
Facsimile Text Society, New York, 1938, March 6, 1705, II, No. 3, p. 9. 

12 Ibid. 

13 Philipps, The State of the Nation, 1-2. 

14 H. W. V. Temperly, "The Age of Walpole and the Pelhams," The 
Cambridge Modern History, VI, Chapter II, 49. 


exchanged for finished wares. (3) Advantage is also had when 
"manufactures [are exchanged} for manufactures, commodities for 
commodities," Even when money is paid as part of the price this 
is agreeable to good business if the major part of the wares thus 
brought in are resold out of the nation. (4) Generally speaking 
the re-exporting of imports is always advantageous, since in this 
way the carrying-trade of the nation is furthered. ^^ The maxims for 
testing the value of every trade which Wood then lists, repeat over 
and over the virtues of a favorable balance of trade. 

Similarly the merchant-author of the Address to Merchants points 
out that Britain's imports are bought with her exports, 

and from this Touch-stone, may we not form a good Judgment of our 
Exports? And when we have every desirable Criterion whereby to de- 
termine that our Sales to Foreigners exceed our Purchases of them, this is all 
that is needful to be considered, either with Regard to the Gain of the 
Nation, or the Merchant. . . . The Balance is the only Thing that determines 
the national Profit or Loss.i^ 

A few years later Gary in his Discourse on Trade set down three 
general rules warranted to win the approval of all "unbiased per- 
sons." The first is that such trade is advantageous which absorbs 
the produce and manufactures of the land. The second factor to 
determine an advantageous trade is whether or not it brings in a 
supply of raw materials and increases gold and silver. Thirdly 
it must further navigation and beget sailors.^''' 

Malachy Postlethwayt following Ghild adds to the question a 
somewhat new angle. After assuring his readers that "an advantage- 
ous balance is chiefly the fruit of the several mechanic branches of 
commerce," he sets down four so-called "fundmental points" towards 
which every single trade operation should tend. The first and third 
of these boil down to what has already been stated by others. The 
second would have such operations increase the number of working- 
men, and the last would seek to have foreigners "find their account" 
while trading with Great Britain. ^^ These two points are seen to 
hang together to a certain extent, for, in the introduction to his 
work, Postlethwayt bewails the high price of British wares. -^^ In his 
first disertation he explains that high prices might be remedied by 

15 William Wood, Survey of Trade, London, 1722, 81-82. 

16 Anon., Address to Merchants, London, [1738], 42. 

17 John Gary, A Discourse on Trade, London, 1745, 42. 

18 Malachy Postlethwayt, British Commercial Interests explained and 
improved, London, 1757, II, 528. 

19 Ibid., Dedication, I, v-vi. 


bringing all available land into cultivation thereby forestalling scarcity 
of grain. The idea is deflationary, to drive down living costs, 
therefore costs of labor, therefore costs of wares. In this way foreign 
merchants will buy Brtish commodities. 

The concern over cost of labor was not new in Postlethwayt's 
time. Already in 1702 Sir Francis Brewster, claiming that the surest 
way to enrich the nation was "the full Imployment of all Hands 
in the Nation," would have the poor set to work at home and on 
the high seas."° Philipps was all for erecting v»^ork-houses in every 
parish and putting the poor to work, thereby obliging them to sup- 
port themselves, especially by spinning and carding,"^ a foreshadow- 
ing here by nearly a century of the poor law of 1834. Daniel Defoe 
was also interested in "setting the Poor to work upon something," 
but he insisted on this one qualification — that the article had never 
been made in England before. Rather he held that it should be 
some foreign product which hitherto had to be bought with money. 
In this way poor houses would not deprive English workingmen of 
a livelihood such as they had been enjoying."" 

John Gary, who is referred to as being "a very considerable 
Merchant at Bristol," would go farther still to obtain his cherished 
ideal of a nation in business."^ Not only would he improve labor 
conditions by putting the poor to work in houses provided for the 
purpose, but he would have Justices of the Peace assign youths to 
artificers, manufacturers, farmers, and the like. Beggars should be 
forced to serve King or merchant on the sea, the sea being a good 
cure "fore Legs and Arms, especially such as are Counterfeits." 
Ale houses, coffee shops and similar places should be cared for only 
by aged folks, or such as have large families. Young people are 
to be prevented from "Hawking about the Streets, and from Singing 
Ballads." If such amusements be allowed at all, Gary said, let 
them be for the aged. Plays, lotteries, gaming-houses are to be 
under rigid supervision since they tend towards idleness and love 
of ease in youths. In this way Parliament may help to beget a 
"Habit of Virtue," and make many people serviceable who before are 

Not merely on the poor did writers on economics concentrate 
their efforts. If trade and industry meant so much to the nation, 

20 Sir Francis Brewster, New Essays on Trade, London, 1702, v. 

21 Philipps, State of the Nation, 8-9. 

22 Defoe's Review, March 24, 1705, No. 9, 34. 

23 Gary, Discourse on Trade, 21-22, 109-110. 


then all loyal Englishmen should strive to further the same. First, 
however, they must be made aware of the situation, and hence 
the ever recurring theme-song on the necessity of national solidarity 
behind the nation's business. A typical example of what is meant 
may be found in the Address to Merchants. There the author quotes 
a "great Philosopher and Political" as follows: 

If ever, says he, the English would attain to the Mastery of Commerce, not 
only in Discourse, but Reality, they must do it by their Labours as well 
as by their Swords: Unless this be done they will in vain be victorious; at 
the End of their Wars they will cool again, and lose all the Fruits of 
their Valour: The Arts of Peace, and their Improvements in Manufacture 
and Inventions of every Kind must proceed in equal Steps with the Success 
of their Arms; The Works of our Citizens .. .vmist be equally advanced 
with the Triumphs of our Fleets, or else their Blood will be shed in vain: 
they will soon return to the same Poverty and want of Trade which they 
strove to avoid. 2 4 

Richard Campbell wrote his London Tradesman for the express 
purpose of informing parents and instructing youths in the various 
trades, the better to enable them to make a suitable choice of a way 
of life.^^ One after another, physician, attorney, refiner, carpenter, 
carver, mercer, packer, founder, and their offices, are dealt with 
in the course of the work. In how very real a sense the business 
man had become the hero of the age may be gathered from Camp- 
bell's description of the merchant."^ Campbell first points out that 
traders, such as those mentioned above, are confined to a specified 
locality whereas the merchant has the whole world as his domain. 
Again, while some crafts give employment to several others, the 
merchant sets them all to work by vending their fruits the world 
over. Moreover, the various arts of the land operate, as it were, 
in a closed circle and never add a single sixpence to the wealth of the 
nation. On the other hand the merchant "draws his honest gain 
from the distant poles," bringing enormous wealth to the land. 
Campbell concludes that it is therefore scarcely to be wondered at 
that Commerce is so courted by the wisest and politest nations. 

Even in the eighteenth century it would seem that land-owners 
were beginning to be wary of industrialism. Hence the land-owners 
too would have to be educated. This Sir M. Decker attempted to 
do in an essay published in 1756, whose stated purpose was "to 

24 Address to Merchants, 49-50. 

25 R. Campbell, The London Tradesman, London, 1747, sub-title. 

26 Ibid., Chapter Ixxi, 284. 


prove the strong connexion, in point of interest between land and 
trade. ""^ Wood in his tract had a similar motive when he stated: 
"The Price of Land, Value of Rents, our Home Commodities and 
Manufactures Rise or Fall, as it goes well or ill with our Foreign 

The writers of the period were ever anxious to keep the support 
of the monarch. Wood in his dedication to King George II is 
particularly flattering on the surface, but obviously careful to instruct 
the king on the principles of business: 

Without being Rich and Populous a Nation can never be Great and Pow- 
erful; and since we have a Prince on the Throne, who, above all Things, 
delights and places his Glory in bis People's Happiness . . . this Nation can 
expect no less . . . than to become the greatest and most flourishing People 
in the World. 2 9 

John Gary thought it a wonderful idea that the Prince of Wales 
should have been Governor of the South Sea Company, since he 
would thus be allured "into an Early liking of Trade," and informed 
of the "Advantages that Accrue from it, with the Methods whereby 
it may be Improved. "^"^ 

By the middle of the seventeenth century trade with Spain and 
Spanish America had become a primary objective for the merchants 
of Great Britain. Considering what has already been said the rea- 
sons for this are not hard to discover. As Pares remarks: "The Span- 
ish West Indies had for the trader as well as the pirate all the 
charm of the remote and fabulous. The legend of the great Ameri- 
can market superseded the legend of the Golden Man, or rather 
grew up by its side. It was not impossible to combine plundering 
the Spaniards and trading with them; but it was not very easy."^-^ 
This latter fact is amply stressed in the politics and wars of the 

Even in the time of Charles V, Spain had to rely on industrial 
countries for a large part of the manufactured products she used in 
trade. The result was that, in spite of efforts to the contrary, Spanish 
gold and silver flowed into the nations of Europe.^^ One con- 

27 Sir M. Decker, An Essay on the Causes of The Decline of Foreign 
Trade, Edinburgh, 1756, Preface, vi. 

28 Wood, Survey of Trade, Introduction, 4. 

29 Ibid., 10. 

30 Gary, Discourse on Trade, Dedication, iii-iv. 

31 Pares, War and Trade in the West Indies, 5. 

32 Klaus E. Knorr, English Colonial Theories 1570-1830, Toronto, 
1944, 36. 


temporary gives an excellent description of what was actually taking 
place. He writes: 

The Spaniards are a stately People, not much given to Trade or Manufactures 
themselves; therefore the first they carry on by such chargeable and dilatory 
Methods both for their Ships and ways of Navigation, that other trading 
Nations, such as the English, French, Dutch, and Genoese, take Advantage 
of them; only their Trade to their West-Indies, hath, on strict Penalties, 
been reserved to themselves; but having no Manufactures of their own, the 
Profit thereof comes very much to be reaped by those who furnish them: 
Nor is it so well guarded and secured, but that the Inhabitants thereof 
have been plentifully supplied by us with Manufactures, and many other 
Things from Jamaica. . . .33 

It is scarcely necessary here to delve at any great length into 
Spain's peculiar mercantile system as modified in the eighteenth cen- 
tury. With the consolidation of the various European monarchies, 
it was not merely politics, the military, and even religion that were 
nationalized. The economic life of the nation was also affected. 
This was not only true of European nations as such but even more 
partiailarly of the colonies held by them. In the case of the Hispanic 
Americas, as Chapman points out, government and business in the 
colonies were almost inseparably associated. ^^ In the first place 
the land, soil and subsoil alike, was owned by the crown to be par- 
celled out by it as by any private owner. Nor could an individual 
do with his holdings entirely as he pleased. 

As a correlary to the current economic theory that wealth lay in 
bullion, it was held that the colonies existed pretty much for the 
benefit of the mother country. The colonies were to supply raw 
products of trade; the mother country would furnish the finished 
products. Hence the legislation preventing the colones from certain 
types of manufacture, stopping them from raising certain products, 
and obliging them to produce others. Hence too the monopolistic 
control of gold, silver and quicksilver production in Hispanic Amer- 
ica. Similar ends were also had in mind when laws were enacted 
causing traffic between mother and daughter countries to be carried 
on by natives of one or the other. Direct foreign trade was not only 
discouraged; it was absolutely prohibited. Furthermore, trade be- 
tween Spanish merchants and colonists was restricted to designated 
ports, Cadiz and Seville in the Old World and to Cartagena, Porto- 
belo, Vera Cruz, and a few others in the New. The element of 

33 Gary, Discourse on Trade, 65-66. 

34 Charles E. Chapman, Colonial Hispanic America, New York, 
1933, 145. 


control loomed large in all such regulation. Such conduct was so 
much a part of European thought that even Daniel Defoe considered 
it to be just as well as effective to keep the commerce and the land 
itself in Spanish hands. ^^ 

Due to her needs Spain was forced to make certain concessions 
to foreign merchants, principal among them the trade rights at 
Portobelo by the Asiento of 1713. Besides this there were several 
alternatives open to such merchants. The simplest of these was 
to sell their wares outright to the Spaniards, who in turn shipped 
them to the Indies. The more venturesome were inclined to handle 
the whole affair themselves, sending their wares directly to the colon- 
ies with the help of Spanish "cover-men" just as privateers had been 
doing in England. Or finally, they might simply act as bankers, 
lending money to the Spanish merchants and later taking their slice 
in the profits."^ The policy employed in each instance would be 
determined largely by prevalent risks, which in turn were modifed 
by conditions of war or peace. 

Up to about the middle of the eighteenth century at least the 
position of British merchants in the Spanish trade seems to have 
been quite advantageous. Postlethwayt, writing in 1757, gives 
indication of the tremendous volume of this trade when he says 
that it was not uncommon to see as many as three to five hundred 
foreign vessels in the various ports of Spain. Seldom were there 
less than two hundred. In Cadiz alone there were at times gathered 
as many as two hundred British ships. Many of these latter, Post- 
lethwayt indicates, were there to dispose of fish. Others were 
engaged in acting as carriers for Spain to and from the nations of 
all Europe. Indeed, not only Hamburg, Holland, the North Seas, 
and Italy had seen British sails in this trade, but Turkey and Barbary 
as well. Hence it was ever worth while for Spain to maintain peace 
and friendship with Great Britain. Hence too the adage: "Paz con 
Angleterra con todos otros la guerra."^'^ 

The full nature of the commodities exchanged in the Spanish 

35 Defoe's Review, Saturday, June 30, 1711, VIII, 170. Defoe does 
not seem to have favored free trade with Spain at this point. Free trade 
would have favored' all nations, while a restricted trade would have en- 
abled the English to make a "deal" with Spain. The British, he felt, could 
best supply Spain with the products she needed and in turn was able to 
use what materials she had to sell. 

36 Allan Christelow, "Great Britain and the Trades from Cadiz and 
Lisbon to Spanish America and Brazil," The Hispanic American Historical 
Review, XXVII, February, 1947, 3. 

37 Postlethwayt, Britain's Commercial Interest, II, 462-463. 


trade is also indicated by contemporary pamphleteers together with 
the importance of that trade. Wood, for example, mentions that 
"beys, says, perpets, cloth, stuffs, cotton, worsted and silk hose, 
&c." were sent to Spain in addition to the fish mentioned above. 
In return the British received "wine, oil, wool, cochineal, fruit, 
iron, See. . . and the balance in bullion." Wood further mentions 
that this balance in bullion, though lately diminished, was formerly 
very great.^^ John Gary, dividing the Spanish trade into three 
parts, viz. Spain, Biscay and Flanders, lists the exports to Spain 
proper as "all sorts of woolen Manufactures, Lead, Fish, Tin, Silk 
and Worsted Stockings, Butter, Tobacco, Ginger, Leather, Bees- 
Wax, and sundry other things." From Spain are had fruits, wines, 
oil, cochineal, indigo, anata, barilla, "with a great part in Gold and 
Silver. "^^ Imports and exports to and from the remaining two 
sections mentioned are similar to those of Spain proper though 
in lesser quantities.'*'^ 

The importance that the British attached to the Spanish- American 
trade, direct or indirect, cannot be exaggerated. Not merely v/as 
there question here of a lucrative market, but England had come 
to rely greatly on American products, particularly leather, dye-stuffs, 
and drugs, to say nothing of bullion for her economic needs. 
England needed American gold and silver to carry on her Asiatic 
trade; she needed dye-stuffs in her woolen industry, and raw and 
tanned leather in great quantities to supply a growing European 
market for leather goods. At the same time American drugs, such 
for example as Jesuit bark and sarsapariUa among others, seem to 
have taken on some of the aspects of a fetish being capable as was 
piously believed of curing the bodily ills of Europe. Thus, con- 
cludes Daniel Defoe, 

the Riches of the World, the Valuable Drugs, the useful Dying Stuffs, 
and Dying Woods, the Sugars, Tobacco, rich Furs, and the Fish, as well 
as Gold and Silver, are by the wise appointment of the Great Disposer of 
all things, Dispersed over the whole Country to make the Nations of 
Europe beholding them obliged to visit them, and consequently to bring 
to them again in Exchange the things they wanted from Europe ... of 
which they would still have remain'd Ignorant and Untaught in, if they 
had not been able to bribe us with their own Native Stores to come to 
them 41 

38 Wood, Surve^j of Trade, 86-87. 

39 Gary, Discourse on Trade, 64-65. 

40 Ibid. 

41 Daniel Defoe, A General History of Trade, London, 1713, 18. 


If then there was so great an economic interdependence between 
Great Britain and Spain, how it is that these two nations were so fre- 
quently at war with one another during the two centuries following 
the Armada ? In answer to this query it should be remembered that, 
in the first place, British "war-mongers" did not always get their 
way. Among the merchant class there were ever strong protagonists 
for peace. Thus, in 1738, one merchant-author chides those dissatis- 
fied with the administration because the latter did not want war 
with Spain. Rather, after twenty-six years of war, it was high time 
that the nation thought of recouping her losses and gaining back the 
commerce which had been lost in the interim to the various neutral 
nations of Europe.'*" This same author then points out that the 
wise Monarchs of Europe have become "so tender of their Trade . . . 
that they seem all agreed, as it were, to lay aside the Sword, and 
instead of conversing by the Thunder of their Cannon, give Prefer- 
ence to Negociation."'*" Once some of the other nations have be- 
come as war-torn as England, France, and Holland, they too will 
act in like manner. The conclusion is then reached that, if the 
"deluded citizens" really understood the situation, they would call 
for peace as loudly as they now clamour for war.'*'* 

Similarly Campbell in his London Tradesman bewails the sad 
state of trade. The Dutch have run off with some of it. King 
William's and Queen Ann's War meant high taxes. After the 
latter especially, the French robbed the English of considerable 
trade. The Danes, Swedes, and Russians were taking the rest, so 
that there were scarcely a trade in which the balance was not against 
the British. Even the Negro trade has been wholly engrossed by 
the French, etc., etc.^^ 

That the statesmen of the time saw eye-to-eye with the merchants 
is indicated by Walpole in a letter to the Duke of Bedford, 
July 2, 1748. 

All that I shall say at present is, that nothing can be more beneficial 
to the trade of England than to establish and cultivate a strict friendship 
with Spain; because the preservation of the peace, and particularly of our 
commerce, will depend upon a real friendship more than upon the words 
or stipulation of the treaties: and now there is, I hope, a prince upon that 
throne that is of a pacific temper, and a true Spaniard, that must therefore 

42 Address to Merchants, 5, 15. 

43 Ibid., 17-18. 

44 Ibid., 34. 

45 Campbell, London Tradesman, 286-291. 


be desirous to free his subjects from the great oppressions and losses that 
they have suffered by the war. 46 

Similar sentiments were indicated by Sir Charles Whitworth some 
years later. Quoting a French author, he pointed out that war 
alone did not determine the superiority of nations. Rather, for 
more than half a century, the balance of power had come to de- 
pend on commerce.*^ 

Defoe also had some strong ideas on the question of peace and 
war, but they seem to have changed with the times. Thus, writ- 
ing in the Review for January 24, 1713, at the end of Queen Ann's 
War, he held peace to be the foundation of comm.erce and stated 
that no nation ever grows rich by war, which of its very nature 
is a destroyer. Then, some years later, when war again loomed on 
the horizon, he called to mind the adage that "England may gain 
by a war with France, but never loses by a war with Spain." Indeed 
he made it his stated opinion that England would lose nothing if 
she never had peace with Spain, and that she had more to gain 
from such a continued war than the Spanish had from their pro- 
longed v/ar with Turk and Moor."*^ 

Defoe based this opinion on the assumption that the people 
of Hispanic America were not content with prevailing conditions, 
and that they would satisfy their need for European goods by deal- 
ing with foreigners in case of war. Nor could the Spaniards stop 
this trade. Furthermore, he asked, "How are the Spaniards sure, 
that if the Inhabitants of America shall at any time come into a free 
Trade with Europe, by Means of a War, they will ever be brought 
to quit that Commerce again .^""^^ 

Behind all this lies the key to the difference that led to such 
constant strife between Great Britain and Spain. For, no matter 
what the terms of the peace or the advantages gained for British 
commercial interests, British merchants were wont to go a step 
farther in their pursuit of business. The Spaniards resented such 
conduct and acted accordingly. The Guardas Castas were perhaps 
at times a bit over zealous in attempting to stop the more ventur- 
es Lord John Russell, ed., Correspondence of John Fourth Duke of 
Bedford, 3 vols., London, 1842-1846, I, 391-392. 

47 Sir Charles Whitworth, State of Trade of Great Britain, London, 
1776, I, as in Knorr, British Colonial Theories, 22. 

48 Daniel Defoe, Evident Advantages to Great Britain and its Allies 
from the Approaching War, London, 1721, 15. 

49 Ibid., 43, 21-22. 


some merchants of Great Britain. Differences ensued which per- 
iodically grew to proportions sufficient to cause outright war. Not 
always were the statesmen of either side able to placate their con- 

The smuggling of contraband goods into the Spanish colonies 
had been taking place from earliest times. Not only the English, 
but the Dutch and French had become past masters at the art. It 
was not difficult for a small ship to slip along an ill-guarded coast, 
notify the inhabitants of its presence, sell its wares and then 
quietly sail off once the business was accomplished.^^ Well re- 
warded complaint officials offered no little help in the matter. 
Coming into the eighteenth century, the British were able from 
Juan Fernandez to supply large quantities of goods to Chile and 
Peru. From Nova Colonia to Sacramento the Plata area was sup- 
plied, from Jamaica the Islands and shores of the Caribbean. 

The Asiento of 1713, which granted to the English South Sea 
Company the right to bring into Spanish America 4,800 Negroes a 
year for thirty years, only made matters worse. Centers of distri- 
bution were set up not only in English held lands, but at certain 
strategic points in Hispanic America as well. Among these latter 
were Buenos Aires, Arequipa, Panama, Portobelo, Cartagena, San- 
tiago de Cuba, Vera Cruz, Campeche, Mexico Cty, Lima, Potosi, 
and Santiago de Chile.^-. The original purpose of these estab- 
lishments was the disposal of Negroes. However they served as 
admirable covers for all sorts of contraband activity. Similarly the 
one British ship of 500 tons permitted under the treaty at Portobelo 
came to be fed by a system of tenders so that the merchandise 
shipped into the Isthmus came to be almost unlimited.^ ^ No won- 
der Cary called the Negro trade "our Silver Mine," not only be- 

so Ernest H. Hildner, Jr., in "The Role of the South Sea Company 
in the Diplomacy Leading to the War of Jenkins' Ear," The Hispanic 
American Historical Review, August, 1938, shows how in large part the 
"selfish narrow views" of the Company paved the way for the war of 1739. 

51 Salvador de Madariaga, The Rise of the Spanish American Empire, 
New York, 1947, 130. Cf. Captain Nathanial Uring, A History of the 
Voyage and Travels of Captain Nathanial Uring, London, 1726, 164-165, 
for an interesting description of such a venture. 

52 George H. Nelson, "Contraband Trade Under the Asiento, 1730- 
1739," Americayi Historical Review, LI, October, 1945, 57. 

53 For interesting material on such activity cf. James Houstoun, 
The Works of James Houstoun, London, 1753, 198-199; Judith Blow 
Williams, "The Establishment of British Commerce with Argentina," 
Hispanic American Historical Review, XV, February, 1934, 44; A. C. 
Loosely, "The Puerto Bello Fairs," Ibid., XIII, August, 1933, 335. 


cause of the sale of Negroes but because it was this together with 
the Asiento "which first introduced our Manufactures to them."^"* 

Spanish officialdom was by no means unaware of what was 
taking place. In a report presented to Charles III in 1761 it was 
stated that the English were the worst offenders in the contraband 
trade in which their share was at least 6,000,000 pesos a year, and 
this in spite of the most sacred treaties. ^^ In view of the above one 
is somewhat surprised to find Bedford writing to Keene in February, 
1751, that neither he 

nor any of his Majesty's servants here are conscious of any illicit trade being 
carried on from hence, which is in our power to prevent, and all his 
Majesty's governors abroad have the strongest orders to comply strictly with 
the forms prescribed in several treaties now subsisting between the two 
crowns. 5 6 

Though this letter was marked "most secret," Bedford would have 
done well to have caused it to fall into the hands of the Spaniards! 

As a final step indicating Great Britain's tremendous interest 
in the Spanish Americas, a word might be said about her colonizing 
activities in Central and South American waters. It comes as some- 
what of a shock to the average citizen of the United States that the 
thirteen original colonies were frequently considered as being of very 
secondary importance to the British. Nor was John Cary the first 
to "look upon Netv England to bring the least Advantage" to the 
Mother Country.^'^ Further indication of this is had in the type of 
people who settled the two areas. To the North came largely 
Puritans, Separatists, Quakers, Catholics, Dissenters of all sorts. 
On the other hand a survey of the Islands to the south shows that 
they were for the most part under the control of the privileged 
Anglicans. Again, during the Commonwealth, when the Northern 
Colonies were largely neglected, a vigorous "Western Campaign" 
was carried on in the Caribbean. The influence of the Island 
planters on colonial policy after the monarchy was again estab- 
lished is also significant. The key to this situation is found in the 
fact that riches through trade were to be had in the West Indies 
rather than in the Northern Colonies. 

54 Gary, Discourse on Trade, 53-55. 

55 Allan Christelow, "Contraband Trade Between Jamaica and the 
Spanish Main, and the Free Port Act of 1766," The Hispanic American 
Historical Review, XXII, May, 1942, 313. 

56 Bedford to Keene, February 11-17, 1750-1751, in Russell, Corre- 
spondence, II, 72. 

57 Cary, Discourse on Trade, 51. 


The importance of the Caribbean area was manifest to the 
British long before the first permanent settlements were established 
in the North American sphere. As early as 1584 Hakluyt had 
suggested in his Discourse on Western Planting that 

the plantinge of twoo or three stronge fortes upon some goodd havens 
(whereof there is great store) betweene Florida and Cape Briton, woulde 
be a matter in shorte space of greater domage as well to his flete as to 
his westerne Indies; for wee shoulde not onely often tymes indaunger his 
flete in returne thereof, but also in fewe yeres put him in hazarde in loosinge 
some parte of Nova Hispania. . . . And entringe into the consideration of the 
way how this Phillippe may be abased, I meane firste to begynne with the 
West Indies, as there to laye a chefe foundation for his overthrowe.^s 

A similar policy was advocated in 1623 by Sir Benjamin Rudyard, 
who urged that the Spanish King be cut up at the root and "im- 
peached" or supplanted in the West Indies.^ ^ By 1640, when John 
Pym was urging the King to force his way into the Spanish West 
Indies and thus "easily make his majesty master of all that treasure,"^*' 
the English were fair on their way towards culling sizeable holdings 
out of the left-over spots of the West Indies. A brief resume of 
how this was done will not be out of place here. 

Barbados was obtained in 1605 when visited by the British ship 
Blossom.^^ It was settled in 1625. The Bermudas came next in 
1609. Though previously discovered by the Spaniards they had 
never been settled. St. Kitts, discovered by Columbus in 1493, 
was first settled by Sir Thomas Warner in 1623. Nevis and Bar- 
buda were added in 1628. In the year following the Bahamas, also 
unsettled by the Spaniards, were included in the grant giving the 
Carolinas to Sir Robert Heath. Montserrat was colonized under 
Warner in 1632. In 1638 British sailors seaired a foothold in 
Honduras, though it was not until the l660s that a logwood busi- 
ness was established there from Jamaica, which had been taken 
from Spain in May 1655. In 1652 the British secured a foothold 
in Guiana; however this was ceded to the Dutch in 1667 in return 
for New York. In 1781 a footing was again secured there, which 

58 Richard Hakluyt, A Discourse concerning Western Planting, 1584, 
printed from a contemporary Manuscript, Charles Deane, editor, Cam- 
bridge, 1877, 45, 55. 

5 9 Leo Francis Stock, Proceedings and Debates of the British Par- 
liaments respecting North America, 5 vols., Washington, 1924-1941, I, 62. 

60 Ibid., I, 98. 

61 The dates followed in this paragraph are for the most part those 
given by Helen Rex Keller, The Dictionary of Dates, 2 vols.. New York, 
1934, II, 557-580. 


was ultimately to grow into British Guiana. Tortola of the Virgin 
Island group was occupied in 1666. The Turks and Caicos Islands 
were acquired through Bermuda. Uninhabited before 1678 they 
were first visited at that time by inhabitants of Bermuda because 
of their salt deposits. 

The places mentioned above were to comprise the more important 
holdings of the British in Spanish American waters. However their 
seizure does not tell the whole story, since, throughout the colonial 
period the British were ever on the alert for further strategically 
situated lands. The entire litoral from Florida down round the 
Strait of Magellan and up into the Californias was periodically 
viewed for possible holdings. Even the unhospitable shores of bar- 
ron Patagonia were seriously considered for their vantage point 
in the lucrative South Sea trade. All this is important for fully 
understanding the great zest which the British were to manifest in 
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in their quest of trade and 

The sketch here given of Great Britain's conduct of affairs in 
colonial Hispanic America has been brief in the extreme. However, 
it will be sufficient to indicate the tremendous interest which the 
British, — privateers, adventurers, merchants, and statesmen, — had in 
the Americas. As they saw it, it was upon trade, not on gold and 
silver alone, that the well-being of their nation rested. In particular 
they were interested in trade with the Americas. The reason for 
this was that there they could exchange their wares for raw products 
so necessary to further manufacture, and for bullion. The oriental 
trade to be sure was very valuable, but was to be engaged in with 
caution, since it might drain Great Britain of her bullion and end 
in mercantile, to say nothing of national calamity. In the Spanish 
trade there was no such danger. Quite the opposite, and therefore 
its great value. 

Herman J. Muller 
The University of Detroit 

Troops to Red River 

On May 20, 1870, a military expedition of modest proportions 
embarked from Collingwood, Ontario, on the south shore of 
Georgian Bay, on an arduous enterprise. It made its way slowly 
across Lake Superior to Thunder Bay, Ontario, on the north 
shore. From here it crossed the watershed, plunged through swamp 
and forest to Lake Winnipeg, and entered the Red River of the 
North. Its goal: Fort Garry and the Red River Settlement, the 
present Ste. Boniface and Winnipeg, Manitoba. 

The official purpose of this expedition was shrouded in mystery 
at the time. Neither the Canadian Government nor the Imperial 
Government made public any satisfactory explanation. The result 
was confusion in the popular mind. Some thought it was nothing 
but a symbolic gesture. Others concluded that its purpose was 
punitive and warlike. The very composition of this body did not 
make for clarity. Its nucleus was regular troops of the imperial 
army, but the remainder were Canadian volunteers, mostly from 
Ontario. Its leader was an ambitious officer of the British forces, 
Colonel Garnet J. Wolesley. 

If it had been question of a war to fight, pure and simple, the 
military could have acted with definiteness and dispatch. Such, 
however, was not the case. Both governments, Canadian and Im- 
perial, were dickering and parrying with each other in such manner 
as to achieve the greater good for itself while makmg the lesser 
commitment. The result was diplomatic obscurantism leading to 
popular clamor, military delay, and constitutional confusion. We 
shall endeavor to learn the true purpose of this expedition and the 
manner in which that purpose was fulfilled. 

Formation of Official Canadian Policy 

Let us recall the facts. On July 1, 1867, after three years of 
careful negotiations and debate, British possessions north of the 
United States were united into the Dominion of Canada. Next, 
Rupert's Land, from Lake Superior to the Rockies, was to be sold 
by the Hudson's Bay Company to the Imperial Government of 
Britain, that is, its charter was to be retired for 300,000 pounds 
sterling. The Imperial Government was to be reimbursed in this 
amount by the new Dominion of Canada to which the territory was 


22 R. E. LAMB, C.S.B. 

to be added. The most populous portion of the vast expanse was 
the area in the Red River Settlement around the Assiniboine River 
flowing east and the Red flowing north. On the west bank of 
the Red River was the important Hudson's Bay Company post, 
Fort Garry, site of present Winnepeg about 350 miles northwest 
of St. Paul, Minnesota. Across the river was St. Boniface, settled 
by French speaking Metis. 

In Britain the Gladstone ministry ruled, liberal, laissez-faire, 
and not too enthusiastic about overly strong ties betv,'een overseas 
possessions and the motherland. Lord Granville was Colonial 
Secretary in the Gladstone cabinet and in immediate charge of 
relations with Canada. In the recently established North American 
Dominion the ministry of John A. Macdonald held sway, Conserva- 
tive, closely attached to the mother-country, and indeed more Empire- 
minded than Gladstone himself. 

The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 had provided for the admis- 
sion of new states into the American union on a basis of eojuality 
with the original thirteen. However, the addition of the "great 
lone land" between Lake Superior and British Columbia to the new 
Dominion of Canada was not to be done in the same way. The 
former preserve of the Hudson's Bay Company would in effect be 
a "colony of a colony," a not very enviable position. Hence the 
protest movement of the native Metis (Half-breed) people led by 
Louis Riel and the Provisional Government established there which 
sought more equitable terms of admission to the Canadian Dominion. 
Fifteen years after the events described in the present article Louis 
Riel became mentally unhinged while leading the Saskatchewan 
Rising of French Metis and Indians, 1885. He had one-eighth 
Indian blood. At the time of his protest movement at Red River 
Settlement he was in his middle-twenties and a natural leader of 
the illiterate Metis both because of his Montreal education and the 
reputation of his father before him. Upon the invitation of Canada's 
Prime Minister the Metis had sent their delegates on March 23, 
1870, to Ottawa to work out an agreement. By June 17 the dele- 
gates, Father N. J. Ritchot, pastor of St. Norbert's parish a few 
miles south of St. Boniface, and Alfred H. Scott, a Winnepeg mer- 
chant, had returned to Red River, while the third, Judge John 
Black, had gone on to England. The new terms granted provincial 
status to the Red River area. They were found acceptable when 
presented to the Provisional Government and ratified. The new 


province of Manitoba was thus to be admitted to the Dominion of 
Canada on July 15, 1870. 

If the issue had thus been settled to the apparent satisfaction 
of both the Canadian Government and the people of Red River 
why was there need of a military expedition sent with so much 
effort and expense? Why could it not be simply a matter of hoist- 
ing the flag of Canada and accepting the Governor appointed by 
the Dominion? During the Winter and Spring of 1869-1870 a 
good deal more than could meet the eye had occurred both at Red 
River and at Ottawa. Mutual suspicions dominated negotiations. 

The original governor designated by Prime Minister Macdonald 
for the "Northwest" was William McDougall, the personification 
of all that the Metis feared with respect to their future status. 
His premature and blundering effort to install himself at Red River 
was prevented by the native inhabitants. Despite Macdonald's ad- 
vice that he should conciliate his future subjects, he achieved a 
result exactly opposite. He it was who seems to have been the first 
to recommend that troops should be employed for the forceful main- 
tenance of his authority. This he indicated in his very first report 
from Pembina, Dakota Territory, October 31, 1869^ This report 
arrived in the Canadian capital on November 19, 1869, and the 
notion of employing troops was planted in the Prime Minister's 
mind. Four days later Macdonald wrote to Captain D. R. Cameron, 
who was with McDougall at Pembina, about possible use of a 
military force to establish Canadian authority at Red River. "If this 
complication is going to last, we must look forward to the necessity 
of sending a force via Lake Superior and the Lake of the Woods. "^ 
Thus even at this early date the Canadian Prime Minister showed 
his basic distrust of the Metis at Red River. It was a distrust, 
however, that he was cautious not to make public as did the inept 

The frustrated and angry Governor-designate, balked at the In- 
ternational Boundary, was simple enough to believe that Canadian 
soldiers dressed as civilians could be assembled in Minnesota. Form- 
ing with these a two-pronged attack, he suggested that a main Cana- 
dian body march from Fort William on the north shore of Lake 
Superior after havng been transported there by boat.^ McDougall's 

1 Cf. McDougall to Macdonald, Macdonald Papers, "Northwest Rebel- 
lion, 1869-1870," Vol. 2, 99. 

2 Macdonald to Cameron, November 23, 1869, Letterbooks, Vol. 13, 529. 

3 "My opinion is that in any event you ought to call for volunteers 
who wish to migrate, and to send them on here early in the Spring. 500 

24 R. E. LAMB, C.S.B. 

ignorance of the fact that Minnesota was honeycombed with Metis, 
plus his disregard for the niceties of the international law involved 
in the gathering of a military expedition on the soil of a foreign 
country, the United States, are blatantly evident in this letter.'* 

Following a telegram from Macdonald John Rose, the official 
representative of Canada at London, urged the Imperial Government, 
as early as November 25, 1869, to employ Her Majesty's troops if 
necessary at Red River. Thus we see that by early Winter of 
1869 the Canadian ministry seems already committed to a policy 
of forceful establishment of Canadian sovereignty at Red River by 
the employment of troops. No such policy was made public how- 
ever. No explanation was given to the public at large nor on the 
floor of Parliament.^ 

This attitude of the "need" for forceful repression of the native 
inhabitants of Red River continued throughout December, 1869, 
to be advocated by McDougall, Rose, and Macdonald. Donald 
Smith of the Montreal office of the Hudson's Bay Company was 
commissioned by the Prime Minister to investigate and report about 
the situation at Red River. He, too, recommended troops to crush 
the insurrection.^ 

It should be understood that all negotiations between Ottawa 
and London were of a delicate nature. The suspicion of Prime Min- 
ister Macdonald that the Liberal mnistry at London was lukewarm 
in its desire to preserve empire ties has already been alluded to. 
Also, the embarrassment of the Government of the young country 
should be known. Two and one-half years previously self-govern- 
ing Dominion status had been achieved. Now, in its very first 

good men via St. Paul making a rendezvous at Georgetown could take the 
arms at that place and descend the river on rafts and take up a position 
on either side of the River near the boundary. . . . 1,000 more, for whose use 
boats should be built this winter, might be sent via Fort Williams." — 
McDougall to Macdonald, November 8, 1869, Macdonald Papers, "North- 
west Rebellion, 1869-1870," Vol. 2, 126. 

4 That McDougall indulged in prevarication is shown by what he 
wrote to Cameron later. "I have never proposed, contemplated, or asked 
for the aid of soldiers. If any fighting becomes necessary, it must be 
done by the loyal people of the Settlement in their own way and at their 
own time." McDougall to Cameron, November 30, 1869, Ibid., Vol. 2, 517. 

5 Cf. Rose to Macdonald, November 25, 1869, Ibid., Vol. 1, 172. 

6 Cf. Macdonald to McDougall, December 12, 1869, Letterbooks, Vol. 
13, 715; Macdonald to Langevin, December 15, 1869; Ibid., 739; McDougall 
to Macdonald, December 28, 1869, Macdonald Papers, Vol. 2, 317; Mac- 
donald to Rose, December 31, 1869, Joseph Pope (ed.), Memoirs of the 
Right Honourable Sir John Alexander Macdonald, rev. ed., Toronto, 1930, 
416; and Smith to Macdonald, January 4, 1870, Macdonald Papers, Vol. 
2, 399-400. 


undertaking the fledgling Dominion seemed to be confessing to 
failure and must call on the mother-country for help. It created a 
situation it could not control. It took upon itelf a task it could 
not see through alone. 

Next, there was diplomatic byplay between Ottawa and London 
concerning the procedure for transference of the former Hudson's 
Bay Company territory from the Crown to the North American 
Dominion. The original date agreed upon for transfer of sover- 
eignty was December 1, 1869. Canada was to have made pay- 
ment to Her Majesty's Government, and William McDougall was 
to have commenced his duties as the Ottawa-appointed Lieutenant- 
Governor of Canada's new domain in the West. By his rash and 
impolitic attempt to install himself ahead of time and his consequent 
forced retirement to American soil, the Governor-designate had 
caused a state of insurrection to exist in the territory. The native 
Metis, excluded from the negotiations that would determine their 
political (and probably economic) future, formed their own Pro- 
visional Government under the presidency of John Bruce who was 
later succeeded by Louis Riel. Their purpose was to seek more 
equitable terms of admission to the Canadian Dominion. They 
had no desire to be "bartered like cattle," nor to become a "colony 
of a colony." With the political situation in the West thus radically 
altered the Macdonald government withheld payment for the 
territory to Her Majesty's government. Until the area could be 
turned over in a peaceful condition the purchase would not be 
completed. It was thus the duty of the Imperial Government to 
suppress the rising, and that with her own troops and at her own 
expense. When this should be done, then Canada would make 
payment. This view, of course, was not acquiesced in by London, 
not only because of the expense, but also because of the Liberal 
government's unwillingness to become involved in warlike maneu- 
vers so near United States during the delicate post-Civil War years.*^ 

A compromise, of course, was ultimately worked out. Both 
Canadian Volunteers and British Regulars marched westwards, and 
the expense was shared by both governments. That the heavy 
hand of force should be used against the natives of the Northwest 
seems to have become the crystallized policy of the Macdonald 
Government by mid-Winter.^ Such policy, to be sure, was not 

7 Cf. Granville to Sir John Young, January 8, 1870, Macdonald 
Papers, Vol. 1, 341-342. 

8 "... we must not relax our preparations to vindicate by force if 
necessary, Her Majesty's Sovereignty in the North West, ..." Macdonald 
to Rose, February 5, 1870, Letterbooks, Vol. 13, 1023, 1022. 

26 R. E. LAMB, C.S.B. 

made public because of elements of sympathy in Canada itself for 
the people of Red River. Macdonald wanted Imperial troops in the 
Expeditionary Force because the Northwest was Imperial, but still 
not Canadian, territory. Even the Canadian Volunteers would be 
performing an Empire duty and not executing a Canadian invasion 
of a foreign country; moreover, they would be called for in Her 
Majesty's name. Before the end of January boats to transport the 
troops across the lakes had been arranged for. On February 11, 
1870, the Canadian Government decided that troops should be on 
their way as soon as boats could move, for diplomatic negotiations 
with the delegates from Red River might break down.^ 

Influence of Imperial Policy 

As Winter blended into Spring a divergence in policy toward 
the rising at Red River became evident between the Ottawa govern- 
ment and the Home Government at London. Unlike the former, 
the latter committed itself to conciliation of the populace of the 
new territory. They urged conciliation on the Canadian Govern- 
ment and specified that Imperial troops could be employed only to 
maintain order and not for the forceful repression of the Metis. 
In granting the requested military assistance Lord Granville, Secre- 
tary of State for the Colonies, cabled Imperial policy: 

The proposed military assistance will be given if reasonable terms are 
given to the Roman Catholic settlers and if Canadian Government enable 
H. M.'s Government to proclaim transfer simultaneous with movement of 
troops. 1*^ 

Here we have the first evidence in either Canadian or Imperial 
correspondence that Canada should placate Catholics at Red River. 
(Those Metis who were French-speaking were Catholics; those 
who were English-speaking were Anglicans.) It appears to have 
been a new development to Governor-General Young also, for 
in his handwritten copy of this telegram he underlined "Roman 
Catholic," inserted an exclamation mark after them, and added 
(sic) . At all events the British ministry wished to avoid all appear- 
ance of coercion in the dispatch of troops to Red River. They even 
desired that transfer of the Territorry to Canada should be com- 

9 Cf. Macdonald to Rose, January 26, 1870, Letterbooks, Vol. 13, 9G4- 
965; S. J. Dawson to Macdonald, January 29, 1870, Macdonald Papers, 
Vol. 2, 533; and "Minutes of the Committee of Council," February 11, 
1870, Ibid., Vol. 1, 358. 

10 Granville to Young, March 5, 1870, Macdonald Papers, Vol. 1, 403. 


pleted together with or previous to their departure. Moreover, 
they wanted the Imperial troops withdrawn as soon as possible. -^-^ 

The stand thus taken by the Imperial Government was not to 
the liking of Prime Minister John A. Macdonald. He had no 
desire to deal gently with the Metis if it could be avoided. This 
he adroitly refrained from making public, however. By early 
April he seemed less anxious about a too early payment of the 
purchase price of the Northwest and more anxious to get troops 
there to fix Canadian authority. To Governor-General Young he 

We will accept transfer at once — if England sends troops to act with ours 
and suppress the insurrection as proposed in our 0[rder in] C[ouncil] of 
11 Feb. and acceded to by Lord GlranvilleJ's cable tel[egram] of 5 

On the day following he gave to Young a full statement of his 
perplexity about the conditions under which England might be 
willing to send Imperial troops. 

The difficulty that I feel is this: Lord Granville says in his tel[egram] 
that if we accept the Country, England will send troops, but in his instruc- 
tions to Sir C[linton] M[urdoch] he says the troops are not to be used 
to force the people to unite with Canada — in other words to be of no use. 
Now if we accept the Country we are committed to its conquest and must 
go on. 

We can't return the Country to Her Majesty or the H. B. Company. 

Again, why should we agree to pay for troops that may be ordered 
not to act when they get to Fort Garry.'' ... I think a tel: communication to 
the following effect might go — 

Canada will accept transfer at once, if regular troops are sent to be 
used if necessary to put down insurrection. ^^ 

The Governor-General upon receipt of the above communication 
from the Prime Minister replied, in conjunction with the special 
envoy of the Home Government, Sir Clinton Murdoch, who was 
now with him, that the words: "if regular troops are sent to be 
used if necessary to put down insurrection" should not be employed. 
He then suggested that Macdonald and Sir Gorges Etienne Cartier 
and possibly others come for a verbal discussion at the Governor- 
General's office wth himself and Murdoch.^* We do not know 
what conclusions were reached at this conference, but it appears 

11 Cf. Rose to Macdonald, March 23, 1870, Ibid., Vol. 1, 547. 

12 April 9, 1870, Ibid., Vol. 1, 516. 

13 Same to same, April 10, 1870, Ibid., Vol. 1, 517-518. 

14 Cf. Young to Macdonald, April 11, 1870, Ibid., Vol. 1, 521-522. 

28 R. E. LAMB, C.S.B. 

that the Canadian Ministry was forced to back down from its de- 
mand for a strict guarantee that Imperial troops should be used if 
necessary to suppress the Metis of Red River. In the next telegram 
from Granville, April 23, 1870, no mention was made of the 
British Government's having provided any such guarantee. -^^ 

It is not improbable that Murdoch may have undertaken to 
convince the Canadian Prime Minister not by a theoretical but by a 
practical argument. He may have suggested that the latter's wor- 
ries were needless, because actually no resistance would be offered 
the troops anyway. Murdoch, the Ministry, and the Governor- 
General had become convinced by the end of April at least, that 
the approach of the troops would mean the flight of Riel to 
American soil and the collapse of the Provisional Government at 
Red River. They thought (wrongly in fact) that Riel's support 
had been melting away. Murdoch wrote the Colonial Office as 
follows: "It is considered certain that Riel, on the advance of the 
Expedition, will leave the territory and seek refuge beyond the 
British Dominion. "^^ 

From this basic decision and conviction the Ottawa Govern- 
ment did not deviate in the weeks following. Thus soon after- 
wards. May 10, 1870, on the floor of Commons Georges Cartier, 
Acting Prime Minister during the illness of Macdonald, felt con- 
fident enough to insist without qualification that the troops for 
Red River were being sent merely on a peaceful mission. "It was 
necessary that her [Queen's] authority should be established there, 
and it was for that purpose the expedition was to be sent, and not 
for the purpose of carrying on war."^"^ That the Acting Prime 
Minister persisted in this conviction we know from what he wrote 
shortly before his death to John A. Macdonald. He recalled to the 
latter the purpose of the military expedition as explained to the Red 
River delegate. Father N. J. Ritchot, by Governor-General Young. 

In the interview of the 19th [May, 1870], Lord Lisgar [Young] gave 
assurance to Father Ritchot that the military expedition was going to Red 
River not to arrest anyone, but to maintain order, as done by any garrison 
of regulars in any Canadian city where there was one.i^ 

15 Cf. Granville to Young, Ihid., Vol. 1, 525-526. 

16 Murdoch to Sir Frederick Rogers, April 28, 1870, Canada, Journals 
of the House of Commons, 1874, Vol. 8, Appendix, 6, "Report of the Select 
Committee on the Causes of Difficulties in the Northwest Territory in 
1869-1870," 194. Hereinafter this source will be referred to as Causes 
of Difficulties. 

17 Parliamentary Debates, 3rd Session, Vol. 1, 1870, 1551. 

18 Cartier to Macdonald, February 8, 1873, Causes of Difficulties, 
105. Sir John Young subsequently became Lord Lisgar. 


From the foregoing analysis we can discern the position of the 
Canadian and Imperial governments in the matter of sending 
troops to Red River in the Spring and Summer of 1870. But what 
was the reaction of the people of Red River themelves, the native 
Metis? How did they view the approach of this military force? 
Was it coming to maintain law and order in their midst, or to crush 
them for having refused admittance to McDougall? Was its role 
to be that of protector, or would it open the gates for the inrush 
of greedy and exploiting strangers from the East? 

The passage of the Manitoba Bill, May 3, 1870, granting pro- 
vincial status to the Red River Settlement would seem to have quieted 
the fears of the natives. They had signified on June 24, 1870, 
their willingness to enter the Canadian Dominion. However, the 
distrust of Prime Minister Macdonald for the Metis of the North- 
west and their leader, Louis Riel, had long been evident. The na- 
tives could not then be sure of his intentions. In commissioning 
the Catholic Bishop of Ste. Boniface, Antonin A. Tache, to make 
the Dominion acceptable to the inhabitants of Red River Mac- 
donald had shown himself adroit. For his part the Bishop was 
too trusting of the Canadian Ministry. He was a native of Quebec, 
beloved by the simple Metis, and at this time in his late thirties. 

Influence of the Orange Society 

An event occurred on March 4, 1870, at the Red River Settle- 
ment which goes far to explain the apprehension of Riel and the 
French Metis especially to the approach of a military expedition 
from the East. On that day an immigrant from Ontario had been 
exeaited at Fort Garry for armed rebellion and repeated insub- 
ordination. His name was Thomas Scott, a hulking bully-boy, who 
had emigrated to Canada itself in 1864. 

Once it became known back in Ontario that Scott was a member 
of the Orange Society all the furor and pressure of that Society was 
organized in a grand campaign of vengeance on those responsible 
for the death of Brother Scott. The fact that the execution had 
taken place on territory over which Canada had no legal or con- 
stitutional authority or control did not dim the organized urge for 
vendetta. At lodge meetings, at public indignation gatherings, in 
the newspapers, and in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, as well 
as on the floor of the Dominion Parliament at Ottawa, the cry 
went up for the head of Riel and anyone else responsible for the 

30 R. E. LAMB, C.S.B. 

execution of Orangeman Scott. The Conservative Ministry of 
Macdonald and Cartier was besieged by angry demands from Ontario 
that the executioners be punished. 

How to punish legally a deed performed before there was any 
Canadian authority at Red River was the nub of the problem. The 
execution had occurred on March 4, 1870. Canada did not obtain 
sovereignty till July 15, 1870. Wrathful Ontario demianded pun- 
ishment, but the ministry had no constitutional way of inflicting it. 
It was a matter for the Imperial Government itself, and the latter's 
policy, as we have seen, was one of conciliation of the inhabitants 
of the Northwest. Legally and constitutionally, then. Orange On- 
tario's thirst for revenge was frustrated. However, another avenue 
was open. 

Were Canadian Volunteers called for to march with British 
Regulars to Fort Garry.'' Good. This was the opening Ontario 
Orangemen wanted. They enlisted by the hundreds, so that they 
constituted the bulk of the force. They did not keep secret their 
vengeful intentions; yet they were allowed to enlist and to embark. 
Their aim was to capture Riel and whosoever else should be "guilty" 
and see to their punishment. Throughout the long journey from 
May 20 to August 27 their intentions were not effectively frowned 
on by the authorities. As events were to show they did carry out 
their vengeful plans by every means at their disposal. 

Bishop Tache was not slow to detect the anxiety of the Metis 
at Red River over the coming of troops there. Upon his first re- 
turn to Ste. Boniface in March he informed Joseph Howe, Secretary 
of State for the Provinces in the Macdonald Ministry, of the dis- 
like of the people of Red River for the proposd military expedition. 
"The threat of sending troops is, without doubt, the greatest obstacle 
to conciliation."-'-^ In early June he reported to the same Howe that 
general uneasiness was giving way to grave apprehension regarding 
the oncoming expedition, so that some were speaking of new 
troubles and possible resistance. "... I solemnly gave my word of 
honour and promised even in the name of the Canadian Govern- 
ment that the troops are sent on a mission of peace. . ."^° What- 
ever his personal anxieties, the Bishop nevertheless continued his 
efforts to calm the fears of the native Metis. If the new Governor- 

is Tache to Howe, March 11, 1870, Causes of Difficulties, 21. 

20 Same to same, June 9, 1870, Macdonald Papers, Vol. 3, 39. Bishop 
Tache had been commissioned on February 16, 1870, by Prime Minister 
Macdonald to act at Red River in the name of the Canadian Government. — 
Cf. Causes of Difficulties, 19. 


designate, Adams Archibald of Nova Scotia, would come in with 
the troops or even prior to them all would be well. He would be 
the civil authority and would control the military. In fact Bishop 
Tache assured Riel, probably because he was himself assured by 
Archibald, that the new Lieutenant-Governor would arrive before 
the troops. 

M. Archibald regrette de ne pouvoir arriver par la voie de Pembina, son 
desir neanmoins est d'arriver au milieu de nous, et avant les troupes. En 
consequence il sera heaueux qu'on lue trouve un chemin soit par la Pointe 
les Chenes ou le lac des Roseaux.21 

For his part Louis Riel, President of the Provisional Government, 
expressed his desire to vv'elcome the new authority. "My pro- 
foundest respect to Mr. Archibald; we much desire his coming.""" 
The Bishop continued to the same effect on August 5. "Le Gouver- 
neur Archibald partira de meme jour [August 8], mais par un autre 
chemin. II arrivera avant les troupes, et je lui ai promis une bonne 
reception, s'il arrive par le chemin de Snow.-^ 

After landing at Thunder Bay on the North shore of Lake 
Superior the leader of the expedition, Colonel Garnet Wolesley, 
saw fit on June 30 to state himself that the purpose of the Expedition 
was one of peace.""* This proclamation Riel had printed and dis- 
tributed throughout the Settlement. Furthermore Wolesley also 
appealed to Bishop Tache and J. H. McTavish, the Hudson's Bay 
Company officer at Fort Garry, for aid in securing Metis labor 
in extending eastwards the Snow Road."'' 

I have begged him [J. H. McTavish] to render every assistance in his 
power in obtaining the labor and funds required for this service [extending 
the Snow road eastwards]. I have the honor to request your Lordship's 
earnest cooperation in doing so, and being aware of the anxiety of your 
people to welcome us amongst them, I am led to hope that they will avail 
themselves of this opportunity of proving the sincerity of their wishes. 26 

21 Tache to Riel, no date, published in La Minerve, Montreal, Septem- 
ber 29, 1870, p. 2, col. 5. 

22 Riel to Tache, July 24, 1870, Causes of Diffictdties, 37. 

23 Tache to Riel, August 5, 1870, published in La Minerve, Septem- 
ber 9, 1870, p. 2, col, 5. 

24 Cf. Alexander Begg, The Creation of Mariitoba, or a History of the 
Red River Troiibles, Toronto, 1871, 383; and Tache, A. A., The Northwest 
Difficulty, Bishop Tache on tlie Amnesty Question, as appeared in the 
Times, (London), April 6, 7, and 8, 1874, no place no date, 12b. 

25 This incomplete wagon road was projected from Ste. Boniface east 
to Lake of the Woods. Had it been finished the expedition could have 
marched in on it. Instead it proceeded by a longer route to Lake Winnipeg 
from where it entered the mouth of the Red River. It thus advanced on 
Fort Garry from the North. 

26 Wolesley to Tache, June 30, 1870, Tache, Northwest Difficulties, 13b. 

32 R. E. LAMB, C.S.B. 

It is certain that the French Metis did respond to this appeal, even 
in their state of doubt about the intentions of the advancing troops. 
Moreover, the Enghsh and Scotch Metis did not respond. This we 
know from the witness of J. H. McTavish. 

... I issued notices in the Colonel's [Wolesley's] name, calling for men 
to commence the work, and went myself through the English portion of 
the Settlement, but failed in getting a single English half-breed or Swampy 
1 Indian]. None but French half-breeds offered, though it was given 
out and well understood, that the road was to be pushed through in order 
to hurry in Her Majesty's troops. ^"^ 

Role of Bishop Machray 

A new influence made itself felt at this point. The part played 
by the Anglican bishop of Rupert's Land, Robert Machray, at that 
time thirty-nine years of age, should be understood. He had long 
been of the opinion that Imperial troops were needed to insure 
stability at Red River, as they had done on previous occasions. He 
expressed his views in writing to the Governor-General on March 
18, 1870. Benjamin Suite, private secretary of Archibald and mem- 
ber of the Red River expedition, has recorded that the Anglican 
Bishop of Rupert's Land had, despite Riel's proclamation that no 
resistance would be offered the troops, written to Wolesley on July 
25, 1870, that it would be exceedingly unfortunate if the Expe- 
dition did not arrive until after Governor Archibald. 

J'ai peur que Ton adopte le projet de faire arriver ici le gouverneur avant 
nous. Ce serait la demarche la plus maladroite et la plus malheureuse que 
Ton pourrait faire; il est bien difficile de dire a present quelle serait dans 
ce cas la position du gouverneur. Profitez done de toutes les chances 
que vous pourriez avoir pour jeter sans retard une force armee parmi nous. 28 

27 Quoted by S. J. Dawson in his "Report on the Red River Expedi- 
tion," Canada, Sessional Papers, 1871, Vol. 6, No. 47, p. 25. Dawson him- 
self has commented that the reason the English language Metis did not 
cooperate was that the Red River terminus of the road was in the French 
portion of the Settlement. 

28 Machray to Wolesley, July 25, 1870, Benjamin Suite, L'Expedition 
Militaire de Manitoba, 1870, Montreal, 1871, 35. Suite does not say where he 
found this letter. The fears of Bishop Machray were by no means shared by 
the Hudson's Bay Company agent at Fort Garry, J. H. McTavish. "Whatever 
you may hear from others to the contrary, I feel confident that the Pro- 
visional Government are detennined coute que coute to hand everything 
over quietly to the proper authorities, and in no case do I apprehend any 
rising on the part of the Engish or Indians." McTavish to Tache, July 
31, 1870, Causes of Difficulties, 36. With regard to the arrival of the 
new Lieutenant-Governor the same correspondent declared : "... I con- 
sider it highly advisable that Mr. Archibald should be on the spot, at least 
as soon as the troops." Same to same, July 31, 1870, Ibid., 36. 


In early August the Bishop sent the English speaking Metis Joseph 
Monkman with letters from himself and others at Red River to 
Colonel Wolesley providing information about the Provisional Gov- 
ernment and supplies needed by the troops. The Bishop expressed 
his fears about the instability of the peace and urged the rapid 
approach of Wolesley's force. These letters Monkman delivered 
on August 4. On August 12 Wolesley received another communi- 
cation from the anxious bishop pleading for one hundred men and 
a couple of guns at once. Moreover the Bishop took practical 
measures to assure the hastening of Wolesley's troops. A subscrip- 
tion among the English language parishes made possible the send- 
ing of six boats to assist the Expedition down the Winnipeg River 
from Rat Portage. One of his own clergy, J. P. Gardiner, took 
personal charge of the boats. -^ All this is confirmed by the author 
of the "Narrative of the Red River Expedition": 

A number of the English-speaking people of the lower Red River Settle- 
ment had, under the sanction of the Protestant Bishop, started off up the 
Winnipeg River to meet us with some large Hudson Bay boats, having ex- 
perienced guides and crews, for the purpose of assisting us in descending 
that river ... under charge of the Rev. Mr. Gardner [J/V], an English 
clergyman. . .30 

Thus we see that the English speaking portion of the popu- 
lation in conjunction with Bishop Machray, unlike the French, 
did want the military authority ahead of the civil authority. This 
in fact was how the issue was resolved. That the rapidity of the 
last stages of Wolesley's march was the reason Lieutenant-Governor 
Adams Archibald arrived so much later than he did seems to 
be confirmed by Archibald himself in his first report to Secretary of 
State for the Provinces Joseph Howe. "Colonel Wolesley made the 
latter part of his march with such rapidity that he was within a 
short distance of Upper Fort Garry, before it was known there 
that he had arrived in the River. ^^ 

29 Cf. Robert Machray, Life of Robert Machray, London, 1909, 210- 
211; also Dawson, "Report on the Red River Expedition," loc. cit., 22. 

30 Blackivood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 109, 168b-169a; cf. also 
same, 168a-168b 

31 Archibald to Howe, September 3, 1870, Canada, Sessional Papers, 
1871, Vol. 5, No. 20, p. 9. Suite has recorded that Archibald had been 
following one day behind the Expedition. But owing to the final burst 
of speed of the regular troops, he was left seven days behind. Cf. L'Expe- 
dition Militaire de Manitoba, 1870, 45. 

34 R. E. LAMB, C.S.B. 

The Tactics of Wolesley 

Colonel Garnet Wolesley seemed to find it easy to suspect the 
motives of Louis Riel. He allowed himself to be influenced by 
false reports that Riel intended to fight. Such was his explanation 
to Bishop Tache days later after his arrival: 

We were quietly advancing certain to meet no resistance, when passing 
through the little village of Winnipeg, two horsemen arrived at full speed 
exclaiming: "Colonel Riel and his men want to fight!" You understand 
Monseigneur that I then had to take some military precautions to approach 
the Fort. 3 2 

The Colonel advanced up the Red River by stealth and caution. 
Messengers and scouts whom Riel had sent to meet him he arrested 
and detained. Their failure to return convinced the Metis Chief 
that Wolesley's intentions, despite his declaration of June 30 from 
Thunder Bay that his mission was one of peace, were nothing less 
than hostile. The Officer of the Expeditionary Forces who authored 
the "Narrative of the Red River Expedition" has accurately described 
the tactics of Wolesley: "We took every possible precaution to 
prevent intelligence of our arrival in the river from reaching Fort 
Garry. No one was permitted to pass in that direction, although 
every one was allowed to come within our line of skirmishers.^^ 

It was too late now for resistance even if the Provisional Govern- 
ment had intended it. Following the counsel of Father Ritchot and 
Bishop Tache Riel was determined to hand over the reins of gov- 
ernment peacefully to legitimate Canadian authority. Assuredly the 
new Governor was not another McDougall. Riel's work was now 
finished. He had already dismissed his potential army of a thou- 
sand Metis. Bishop Tache maintained outward optimism till the 
very eve of Wolesley's arrival with the British regulars. But to 
Riel it was obvious that he would have to seek safety in flight. He 
informed the Bishop of his conviction that the Ottawa politicians 
had deceived the prelate from first to last.'"'^ As the troops were 
entering the Fort, the President of the Provincial Government, his 
guard already dismissed, crossed the Red River and made his way 
to exile in Pembina and later Saint Joseph, Dakota Territory. It 

•>" Quoted from memory by Bishop Tache, Tache, Northivest Difficul- 
ty, 14b-15a. 

33 Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 109, 175a-b. 

34 Cf. G. Dugas, Histoire veridique des faits qui ont prepare le 
mouvement des Metis a la Riviere Rouge en 1869, Montreal, 1905, 192. 


was an inglorious exit from office after nine months of nerve- 
wracking work. Riei had even prepared an address of welcome 
for the incoming Lieutenant-Governor.^^ 

Red River thus had no civil authority from the time of Riel's 
departure, August 24, till the arrival of the Lieutenant-Governor, 
September 2, for Louis Riel had been empowered by the Dominion 
Government to continue in office until the coming of Adams Archi- 
bald.^^ On his own authority alone Colonel Wolesley called on 
Donald Smith to act as temporary civil ruler. 

Parenthetically we can ask: what could have happened to the 
Red River Expedition had the Metis determined to resist? It was 
quite possible that the force could have been destroyed. If neces- 
sary, guerilla warfare could have been conducted all the way from 
Thunder Bay to Fort Garry. None of the Expedition had had any 
experience with such fighting, and they were altogether unfamiliar 
with the difficult terrain. Moreover, down the rapids of the Win- 
nipeg River logs could have been floated to demolish the small 
boats the soldiers were in. In fact Indians had volunteered to do 
this should Riel approve. Also, as the force slogged its way toward 
Fort Garry across the rain-created, treeless morass an the morning 
of August 24, it could easily have been annihilated by a well-de- 
fended Fort with its numberous cannon. Resistance to Imperial 
authority, however, the Metis did not want. 

Importance of the New Governor's Arrival 

The timing of the Lieutenant-Governor's arrival was important 
because it would have much to do with the behavior of the troops. 
If he arrived before them, he would have a better chance to control 
them. If he arrived after them, he could not. It was to the advan- 
tage, then, of the vengeance-seekers that they seize those whom they 
regarded as blameworthy during a period of confusion and under 
the covering of military operations. This was in fact what actually 
happened. Some notion of their movements can be learned from 
Donald Smith's account in Commons the year following. 

35 Cf. Riel to Tache, July 24, 1870, A. G. Morice, A Critical History 
of the Red River Insurrection, Winnipeg, Canadian Publishers, 1935, 341. 

36 Cf. deposition of Fr. Ritchot, Causes of Difficulties, 77. Governor- 
General Sir John Young also favored this function for Riel. "The Gov- 
ernment must I suppose be left in Kiel's hands until the possession of the 
country can be taken by H. M. troops." Young to Macdonald, April 7, 
1870, Macdonald Papers, Vol. 1, 508. 

36 R. E. LAMB, C.S.B. 

A number of excited people — some forty or fifty of them — came to him 
(Smith) asking to be sworn in as special constables to arrest the murderers. 
They said, "We will go to shoot them down, but not to take them in any 
other way." They demanded a warrant to commit murder, in fact. He 
[Donald Smith] refused them a warrant. ... This was before the arrival 
of Governor Archibald. -^'^ 

The new Governor could have come by way of St. Paul and 
Pembina, either in company with Bishop Tache, who was complet- 
ing a second journey to Ottawa, or separately. He could have fol- 
lowed the expedition and himself have come in the Snow Road, 
if it had been completed. Finally, he could have followed the 
Expedition north to Lake Winnipeg and thence to the Red River 
Settlement. The last was the route he chose. In an early com- 
munication to Cartier he congratulated himself on his choice: "I 
am very glad that I came in here by the lakes. If it had been 
otherwise it would have injured me very much with that part of 
the settlement, whose violence it is at this moment of vast import- 
ance to be able to restrain. "-^^ The new Lieutenant-Governor seems 
to be saying that it was good policy for him not to return in the 
company of Bishop Tache via Saint Paul. He appears to have 
thought that this would constitute a siding with one portion of 
the Settlement, viz., the French. Thus he does not seem con- 
cerned about hoYv' much his action has titled the scales against 
the French Metis, who were already subject to a reign of terror 
at Red River. Further, his procedure is all the more surprising 
when we consider the instructions given him by the Dominion 
government. "You will also take measures to protect Immigrants 
flowing into that country, and to restrain them from any lawless 
intrusion upon the settlers or upon Indian tribes which may be 
calculated to provoke resistance. ""^^ 

Arrival and Aftermath 

On August 24, 1870, the Imperial soldiers led by Colonel Garnet 
Wolesley marched into the Red River Settlement and occupied Fort 
Garry. On August 27 the Canadian Volunteers came in and re- 

37 Pari. Debates, 4th Sess., Vol. 2, 1871, p. 1043. Brackets mine. 
"When these men applied for a warrant, the Lord Bishop of Rupert's Land 
and a number of the most respectable men in the place were present." 
Ibid., p. 1044. 

38 Archibald to Cartier, September 10, 1870, Causes of Difficulties, 

39 "Instructions to Archibald," Canada, Sessional Papers, 1871, Vol. 
5, No. 20, p. 5. Italics mine. 


leased their frustrations in drinking and brawling uncontrolled 
by the ineffective police force which Donald Smith had attempted 
to organize. The British regulars returned to the East on Septem- 
ber 3, the day following the entry of Lieutenant-Governor Adams 
Archibald. Despite his avowed peaceful intentions of the previous 
month Colonel Wolesley on the day following his arrival made it 
understood that he had regarded the leaders of the Provisional 
Government as "outlaws" from whose "tyranny" he would deliver 
the Settlement. ^*^ This ultimate display of his true colors did not 
prevent the ambitious Wolesley from being feted in Montreal nor 
from subsequent promotion in the British forces."* -"^ 

Two unpunished crimes committed by the vendetta-inspired 
Canadian Volunteers may be singled out: the murder of Elzear 
Goulet and the bayoneting of Andre Nault. In mid-September, 
1870, the former was recognized in Winnipeg and supposed to 
have assisted personally in the execution of Thomas Scott. He 
was chased by a mob including two Volunteers and drowned at- 
tempting to swim the river to safety. Sticks and stones had been 
hurled at him, and, since he sank suddenly, one at least must have 
struck his head.^" 

In March of the year following Andre Nault, an uncle of Louis 
Riel, was bayoneted on American soil by Canadian Volunteers and 
left for dead. Actually he later recovered. The perpetrators of this 
deed were never punished. ^^ The lawlessness of the Volunteers 

40 Cf. Dawson, "Report on the Red River Expedicion," Canada, 
Sessional Papers, 1871, Vol. 6, No. 47, p. 25; F. H. Schofield, The Story 
of Manitoba, Winnipeg, 1913, Vol. 1, 297; George Young, Manitoba Mem- 
ories, Toronto, 1897, 188. With regard to Wolesley's remarks about 
"banditti" flying at the approach of the troops Dawson has written: "The 
people to whom he [Wolesley] alludes instead of flying at his approach 
like banditti, were quietly following their usual occupations, except those 
who were out, at his particular request, making a road to facilitate the 
movements of Her Majesty's troops, and the soldiers had had experienced 
guides on the Winnipeg, although the contrary is implied. Ibid., 26. 

41 Cf. Editorial, Gazette, Montreal, September 30, 1870, p. 2, col. 1. 

42 Cf. news dispatch, Gazette, Montreal, October 7, 1870, p. 1, col. 8. 
For the official report of the Lieutenant-Governor on this incident cf. 
Archibald to Howe, September 17, 1870, Canada, Sessional Papers, 1871, 
Vol. 5, No. 20, p. 15. The Colonial Office in London made anxious in- 
quiries about Goulet's death, as Howe informed Archibald. Cf. Howe to 
Archibald, November 14, 1870, Canada, Sessional Papers, 1871, Vol. 5, 
No. 20, 51-52 ; Archibald to Howe, December 7, 1870, 52 ; Report of H. J. G. 
McConville to Archibald, September 27, 1870, 52-54; Howe to Archibald, 
December 27, 1870, 54 ; and Howe to F. Turville, December 27, 1870, 54. 

43 Cf. news dispatch. Herald, Montreal, March 15, 1871, p. 2, col. G; also 
March 21, 1871, p. 4, col. 1. 

38 R. E. LAMB, C.S.B. 

after their arrival at Red River was not officially intended when 
they were dispatched, yet it is a fact whether intended or not. 


The military expedition to Red River in 1870 has recently been 
termed a "crackpot crusade."'^'* Perhaps this description is accurate 
as far as the Canadian Volunteers are concerned, but the Expedition 
was more than that. We have seen that as far as the Imperial 
Government were concerned it was a peaceful symbol of transfer 
of sovereignty and a guarantee of order but in no sense a punitive 
force. No one was to be arrested nor punished, and the people 
of the Northwest were not to be united forcibly to Canada. So 
much for British official policy as determined by the Liberal Ministry 
in London. This policy the Canadian Government had perforce to 
acquiesce in officially and openly if British assistance both military 
and financial were to be made use of. As far as angry Orange Ontario 
was concerned the Expedition must above all capture and punish 
the executioners of Orangeman Scott. Official declarations to the 
contrary notwithstanding such was the determination of the over- 
whelming number of Canadian Volunteers most of whom were from 
the Province of Ontario. 

Thus there were official policy on the one hand and contrary 
facts on the other. The Expedition was not officially punitive in 
character but was so in fact. Moreover the thirst for vengeance 
on the part of the Volunteers was not hidden from the authorities 
both military and political. Even the British leader, Colonel Garnet 
Wolesley, at length accepted it and connived at it upon his entry into 
Red River Settlement. It appears that Prime Minister Macdonald 
would please pro-Metis supporters by theoretical statements of 
official policy and at the same time please anti-Metis elements by 
the cold facts of vengeance at least partially achieved. The true pur- 
pose of the Expedition was one thing. The manner of its fulfillment 
was quite another. 

R. E. Lamb, C.S.B. 

University of St. Thomas 
Houston, Texas 

44 J. K. Howard, Strange Empire, New York, Morrow, 1952. 

Terence V. Powderly and the 
Knights of Labor 

In 1886 the Order of the Knights of Labor, with a membership 
exceeding 700,000, stood as the dominant organization in the Ameri- 
can labor movement. For a time it seemed as though it was destined 
to absorb all other unions and become the sole representative of 
American workingmen. Yet within a few short years the Knights 
as an important working-class body had disappeared. While tlie 
reasons for its failure are many, a study of the man who was its 
leader during its years of national prominence reveals both the 
strength and weaknesses of the Knights and throws much light upon 
this chapter of labor history. 

Terence Vincent Powderly, head of the Order from 1879 to 
1893, was born in Carbondale, Pennsylvania, on January 22, 1849, 
the son of Irish parents who had migrated to America in 1827. 
First entering the labor movement in 1871 by joining a local of the 
Machinists and Blacksmiths International Union, his ascent to na- 
tional leadership was rapid, and in September 1879 he was chosen 
to succeed the retiring Uriah S. Stephens as Master Workman of 
the Knights of Labor. ^ 

During the eighties Powderly was by far the most popular and 
renowned labor leader in the United States. His vision of a better 
world, his voluminous correspondence with the rank and file, and 
his obvious sincerity and sense of dedication and mission all con- 
tributed to his great appeal. It was, in fact, in the field of publicity 
and education that he made his greatest and most enduring contri- 
bution to the labor movement. Powderly developed nothing original 
in the way of organizational technique or policies. His major 
accomplishment was to draw attention to American workers and to 
make workingmen aware of a growing labor movement. However, 
as we will see, Powderly was more a reformer than a job- and wage- 
conscious labor leader, and drew more from the humanitarian 
heritage of the ante-bellum period than he contributed to the develop- 
ment of American labor ideology. 

1 Powderly to James E. Barrett, January 15, 1889, Powderly Papers 
(Department of Archives and Manuscripts, Catholic University of America, 
Washington, D. C). Unless otherwise noted, all manuscript citations are 
from this collection. See also Powderly's autobiography, The Path I Trod, 
New York, 1940. 



The most important ingredient in Powderly's philosophy was a 
desire to destroy the wage system. As he often stated: "The aim 
of the Knights of Labor — properly understood — is to make each 
man his own employer." This hostility toward capitalism was based 
more upon emotional than scientific reasoning, for he once wrote 
that he would banish the term "class" from the English language 
if he could do so. Powderly had little knowledge of the socialist 
analysis of society, and never assigned a significant role to economics 
as a factor in the development of society.^ 

Powderly then faced the more practical problem of adopting a 
course of action resulting in the abolition of the wage system. Be- 
cause of his reform heritage and failure to understand the import- 
ance of economic factors, he could never fully comprehend the need 
for economic action by the working class. Rather he proclaimed 
over and over again the importance of education as the primary 
means of superseding the wage system. Always counselling patience 
and forbearance, he warned that the process of education could not 
be successful in a matter of a few months. In 1886, at the height 
of what historians have termed the "Great Upheaval," he asked 
workingmen to "submit to the injustice at the hands of the employer 
in patience for a while longer," for first their own condition and 
that of the employers had to be studied and understood. After 
laborers had learned what they were "justly entitled to . . . the 
tribunal of arbitration . . . [would] settle the rest."^ 

Despite the evident disinclination of employers to raise wages 
or shorten hours, Powderly suggested that all employers and em- 
ployees should each form their own trade organizations, mutually 
adopt a price and v/age scale, and then boycott those refusing to 
be bound by the agreement. In 1888 he polled the Knights for 

2 Journal of the Knights of Labor, XIII (May 4, 1893), 5; Journal of 
United Labor, I (June 15, 1880), 21; Powderly, "The Organization of 
Labor," North American Review, CXXXV (August 1882), 123; Knights 
of Labor, Proceedings of the General Assembly, 1880, 170; Powderly, The 
Path I Trod, 161, 427. 

Powderly was contemptuous of all socialists, and generally used the 
term to denounce those of whom he was not fond. In 1880 he accepted 
a membership card in the Socialist Labor Party from Philip Van Patten, 
the party's national secretary. But Powderly never took any action on 
it, accepting it as a gesture of friendship; Knights of Labor, Proceedings 
of the General Assembly, 1887, 1536. Cf. also Powderly to Robert D. Lay- 
ton, May 1, 1882; Powderly to Chester A. Arthur, November 11, 1884; 
Powderly to John W. Gilson, April 6, 1886. 

3 Secret Circular of March 13, 1886, reprinted in Missouri Bureau 
of Labor Statistics and Inspection, The Official History of the Great Strike 
of 1886 on the Southwestern Railway System, Jefferson City, 1887, 70-71. 


the purpose of establishing an "Educational Fund," to which con- 
tributions would be voluntary. Although the answer was an affir- 
mative one, the fund never amounted to more than $20,000. In 
the end little was accomplished. The rank and file appeared to be 
more interested in practical results than they were in education."* 

Combined with Powderly's belief in education was an abiding 
faith in co-operation as a means of abolishing the wage system, 
Powderly had grown to maturity at a time when the communitarian 
movement, as propounded by Fourier and Brisbane, was still strong. 
He retained in later life the conviction that society could be re- 
constructed along co-operative lines. In the late eighties, influenced 
by a reading of Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward, he became an 
adherent of the Nationalist movement. Until 1885 the concept of 
co-operation played a significant role in the history of the Knights. 
Numerous co-operative projects were undertaken, but most of them 
failed. Although Powderly recognized that co-operative enterprises 
were bound to fail unless sufficient capital could be secured, he never 
took any action that might have resulted in the raising of funds, 
contenting himself instead with speeches attacking the existing system 
and advocating co-operation as an alternative.^ 

A natural outgrowth of his repugnance toward the existing 
industrial system was his hostility toward trade unionism. Reject- 
ing the pragmatism of a trade unionist such as Samuel Gompers, 
Powderly looked upon higher wages or shorter hours as mere pallia- 
tives which would bring about no permanent betterment of the work- 
ingman's condition. While proclaiming his dislike of trade union 
aims and methods, he nevertheless insisted that no real conflict 
existed between the Knights and the unions, and in fact issued in- 
vitation after invitation for trade unions to enter the Knights as 
a body. Later, when the labor movement was nearly rent asunder 
by the conflict between the two groups, Powderly took the posi- 
tion that it was a war between individuals rather than organizations. 
In 1889 he privately described the leaders of the American Federa- 

4 Journal of the Knights of Labor, XII (January 28, 1892), 1; Journal 
of United Labor, VIII (March 31, 1888), 2602, (May 26, 1888), 2633; 
Knights of Labor, Proceedings of the General Assembly, 1888, Report of 
the General Treasurer, 13; 1889, Report of the Geyieral Secretary Treasurer, 
13; 1890, Report of the General Secretary Treasurer, 9. 

5 Powderly, Thirty Years of Labor, 1859 to 1889, Columbus, 1889, 
460 ; Knights of Labor, Proceedings of the General Assembly, 1880, 170-171 ; 
Powderly to Henry E. Sharpe, October 23, 1883; Powderly to Felix Adler, 
January 20, 1884; Powderly to unidentified correspondent, c. February 
20, 1890. 


tion of Labor as a group of "damn gin guzzling, pot bellied, red 
nosed, scab faced, dirty shifted, unwashed, leather arsed, empty 
headed, two faced, rattle headed, itchy palmed scavengers." Yet 
Powderly was capable of writing that he had never held "but the 
friendliest of feelings for the Trades Unions of America."^ In 
other words, he drew a fine distinction between the membership and 
leadership of the trade unions, refusing to recognize that a unionist 
such as Gompers relied upon rank and file support. 

By the mid-eighties the differing objectives of the Knights and 
the unions resulted in open conflict. While the Order sought to 
introduce a co-operative society, the unions accepted capitalism and 
worked within the existing structure for increased benefits. The 
fight began to rage in earnest after hostilities commenced between 
the Knights and the Cigar Makers' International Union, which was 
led by Adolph Strasser and Gompers. At the 1886 General As- 
sembly of the Order, District Assembly 49, center of anti-unionist 
sentiment, had enough power to secure passage of a resolution 
ordering all members of the Knights, under pain of expulsion, to 
leave the C.M.I.U. Unwilling to engage in a long drawn-out fight, 
Powderly was unhappy at this turn of events. In desperation he 
interpreted the resolution as broadly as possible, promising dispen- 
sations if C.M.I.U. members belonging to the Order would promise 
to desist from harmful activities. At the same time Powderly 
avoided antagonizing District Assembly 49, although he did work 
quietly for repeal of the resolution, which he ultimately ruled un- 
constitutional and which was rescinded the following year. But the 
crucial moment for compromise had passed, since the trade unions 
had already embarked on a war to the finish. Powderly, caught 
between District Assembly 49 and the C.M.I.U., did little. The 
militant Strasser and Gompers were determined to ensure the total 
supremacy of the trade union form of organization, and Powderly 
proved no match for them."^ 

6 Powderly to Tom O'Reilly, December 19, 1889; Powderly to J. T. 
Lavery, July 15, 1890; Powderly to J. T. Tuohy, November 7, 1890; Pow- 
derly to J. P. McDonnell, September 24, 1892; Powderly to James Rogers, 
December 19 1892; Journal of United Labor, I (June 15, 1880), 21, and 
VIII (September 10, 1887), 2486; Journal of the Knights of Labor, XIII 
(January 12, 1893), 1; Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers, 
Proceedings, 1886, 1807-1808, 1818-1819; John Sivinton's Paper, June 20, 
1886; Cigar Makers' Official Journal, XI (August 1886), 6; The Carpen- 
ter, VI (October 1886), 1. 

7 Powderly to Henry Dettman, August 11, 1886; Powderly to Charles 
H. Litchman, April 17, 1886; Powderly to John O'Keefe, January 3, 1887; 
Powderly to J. F. Cronin, February 10, 1887; Powderly to Edwin M. 


Certain traits in Powderly's character created numerous diffi- 
culties during his leadership of the Knights. Often intolerant of 
dissenting views, he tended to exaggerate the relative importance 
of his ovv^n position. In the administration of the Order he was 
unable to delegate responsibility to subordinates, and insisted upon 
supervising even minute details. His relations with the General 
Executive Board were not always close. While the Board worked 
under a common roof in Philadelphia, Powderly remained a hundred 
miles distant in Scranton, journeying only infrequently for meetings 
with the Board. He spent much of his time writing letters, many 
of which expressed dissatisfaction with his heavy burdens.^ 

When events moved rapidly, Pov/derly frequently demonstrated 
an inability to meet changing conditions, often offering the poor state 
of his health as an excuse for inaction. Moreover, when hundreds of 
thousands of workingmen flocked to the Order's banner in the 
feverish years of 1885 and 1886, Powderly did little more than issue 
complaint after complaint. He insisted that striking workingmen 
could not be admitted to membership, that such rapid growth was 
unhealthy, and that he could not possibly keep pace with ensuing 
developments. On more than one occasion he suggested that the 
General Executive Board prohibit strikes altogether and recall the 
charters of those assemblies which disobeyed the order. ^ 

The faith placed by Powderly on arbitration, conciliation, and 
education was naturally reflected by his actions as head of the 
Knights. His handling of the eight-hour agitation during the 
eighties serves as an example of his methods. In 1884 the Feder- 
ation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions had selected May 1, 
1886, as the date on which all workingmen were to press for the 
eight-hour day.^'^ The Order too, from its inception, had also been 
a partisan of this cause, but had always been vague as to the means 
of implementing it. Its support, at least in theory, was primarily 

Blake, March 18, 1887; Powderly to John B. Dempsey, April 1, 1887; 
Powderly to John Devlin, September 14, 1887; Knights of Labor, Proceed- 
ings of the General Assembly, 1886, 42, 200, 282; 1887, 1528-1531, 1677, 
1732-1733, 1822-1823. 

8 Cf. Powderly to Frederick Turner, December 31, 1885; Powderly 
to John W. Hayes, April 29, 1887; Powdei-ly to John J. Roche, August 
12, 1887. 

9 Powderly to Edward B. Irving, December 4, 1885; Powderly to 
Frederick Turner, December 31, 1885; Powderly to Dan F. Tomson, Janu- 
ary 23, 1886; Powderly to Michael Healy, December 1, 1886; Powderly 
to John W. Hayes, January 13, 1888. Cf. also Powderly's Secret Circular 
of March 13, 1886, reprinted in Official History of the Great Strike, 69-75. 

10 Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions of the United 
States and Canada, Proceedings, 1884, 14. 


a concession to the strong feelings of workingmen toward eight 
hours. Powderly and other leading officials, however, emphasized 
that the abolition of the wage system would automatically resolve 
the problem. They argued that a reduction in hours was a mere 

In 1885 Powderly advised the General Assembly that no attention 
should be given the movement because most people were ignorant 
of its significance. Furthermore, neither the date nor the plan of 
action were appropriate. In his famous Secret Circular of March 
13, 1886, he ordered all assemblies to refrain from striking for eight 
hours under the impression they were obeying the wishes of the 
General Assembly. At the 1886 convention he affirmed his opposi- 
tion to the means adopted by those active in the movement. Pow- 
derly's hostile course stirred the wrath of many trade unionists, and 
this was in part responsible for the alienation of the unions from 
the Knights.ii 

In 1888 the A. F. of L. embarked on another eight-hour crusade 
but soon came to the conclusion that better results could be achieved 
if the movement were confined to those trades having at least a 
fair chance of success. The date chosen to press for eight hours was 
May 1, 1890. Gompers wrote the Knights requesting its co-opera- 
tion, and Powderly introduced a resolution in support of the move- 
ment. But no aid was forthcoming on the part of the Order, and 
Powderly reiterated his opposition to the means chosen by the trade 
unions, privately condemning the leaders of the A. F. of L. in 
derogatory language. Although he favored eight hours in theory, 
his hostility toward any concrete plan made him in effect an opponent 
of the movement. Powderly' s disregard of the great appeal of the 
eight-hour movements ultimately drove many workingmen into the 
arms of the trade unions, where their aspirations seemed to have 
a better chance of early realization.-'^" 

11 Knights of Labor, Proceedings of the General Assembly, 1885, 15; 
1886, 39, 273, 278; Powderly, Thirtij Years of Labor, 495-505; Powderly, 
"The Army of the Discontented," North Ainei-ican Review, CXL (April 
1885), 369-377; Official History of the Great Strike, 72-73; Powderly to 
John Franey, December 4, 1885; Federation of Organized Trades and 
Labor Unions of the United States and Canada, Proceedings, 1886, 6. 

12 A. F. of L., Proceedings, 1888, 25; 1889, 29-30; Knights of Labor, 
Proceedings of the General Assembly, 1889, 51-52; Powderly to John W. 
Hayes, December 15 and 16, 1889; Powderly to A. R. Lake, December 21, 
1889; Powderly, "The Plea for Eight Hours," North American Revieiv, 
CL (April 1890), 464-469; Gompers to A. W. Wright, July 10, 1893, 
Gompers Letter Books (A. F. of L.-C. I. O. Building, Washington, D. C). 
Cf. also Powderly to M. J. Byrne, December 21, 1889; Powderly to M. M. 
Cullen, May 21, 1888; Powderly to Tom O'Reilly, December 19, 1889; 
Powderly to J. T. Lavery, July 15, 1890. 


Emphasis upon the abolition of the wage system led Powderly 
to condemn the use of the strike by workingmen. Regarding higher 
wages and shorter hours as expediencies, he naturally opposed 
strikes as a means of securing such objectives. Furthermore, feeling 
that the destruction of the wage system had to be preceded by the 
enlightenment of the people as to their true interests, Powderly 
opposed the strike per se, and probably would have fought against 
its use even as a means of introducing the co-operative society. De- 
spite his hostile attitude, however, it was clear that workingmen 
were more interested in tangible benefits than they were in the re- 
formation of society, and one of their prime weapons was the strike. 
Pressure from the rank and file forced the Order to establish suc- 
cessively a Resistance Fund, a Defence Fund, and an Assistance 
Fund. The attitude of Powderly and other leaders, in addition to 
the fact that inadequate revenue was provided for, insured the 
ineffectiveness of such funds. Powderly's dislike of anything re- 
motely related to strikes was illustrated by his pronouncements. In 
1880 he suggested that the money in the Resistance Fund be used 
for co-operative purposes. In 1883 he complained that the "number 
of appeals for assistance ... is frightful . . . my advice ... is to 
shut down on all appeals and stick to the original plan of the order, 
that of educating the members as to the folly of strikes." Two 
years later he recommended the abolition of the Assistance Fund, 
and in 1888 informed the Knights that had the money spent on 
strikes been utilized for education, strikes would have been ren- 
dered needless. ^^ 

Despite Powderly's opposition, however, he was forced to par- 
ticipate actively as head of the Order in some strikes involving its 
members. The first major strike he took part in came in 1885 
when the Knights won a startling victory over Jay Gould. A wild- 
cat walkout on the Wabash line following a 10 per cent wage 
reduction had caught Gould totally unprepared, and in September 
Powderly negotiated a favorable settlement. Members of the 
Order were not to be discriminated against; locked-out employees 
were to be reinstated as quickly as possible; and Powderly in turn 
promised that in the future no strike would take place until there 
had been a meeting with railroad officials.-^* The Southwest strike, 

13 Pittsburgh Times, July 16, 1883; George E. McNeill, ed., The Labor 
Movement: The Problem of To-day, Boston, 1887, 415-416; Knights of 
Labor, Proceedings of the General Assembly, 1880, 169-170, 172; 1883, 
405; 1885, 23; 1888, Report of the General Master Workman, 3; Powderly 
to William A. Vamer, February 8, 1883. 

14 Knights of Labor, Proceedings of the General Assembly, 1885, 87-91. 


commencing six months later, presented a completely different situa- 
tion, for Gould was well prepared for any trouble. Indeed, he may 
have courted it with the intention of destroying the power of the 
Order on his lines. 

A walkout on the Texas Pacific took place on March 6, 1886, 
ostensibly because of the discharge of C. A. Hall, a member of the 
Order. Actually the workers had for some time expressed a grow- 
ing discontent with the railroad's policies. By March 10 the men 
of the Missouri Pacific, controlled by Gould, had also left their 
jobs. The leader of the strike was Martin Irons, chairman of the 
Executive Board of District Assembly 101. He was not, as Powderly 
later claimed, a novice; rather he evinced many qualities of suc- 
cessful leadership.^^ 

Following the discharge of Hall, the Executive Board of District 
Assembly 101 sent out telegrams to all locals under its jurisdiction 
asking for support. In response to the affirmative replies a walkout 
was ordered on March 6. Neither Powderly nor the General Exe- 
cutive Board knew of the walkout until after its inauguration. The 
vice-president of the Missouri Pacific blamed Powderly for the 
stoppage. Powderly in turn asked for the reinstatement of Hall 
pending a full investigation, but to no avail. An attempt by the 
governors of Missouri and Kansas to get H. M. Hoxie, manager 
of the Gould system, to meet with a committee of the Order also 
proved fruitless. Hoxie was unalterably opposed to a meeting with 
any representatives of the Knights, favoring only a meeting with 
actual employees. ^^ 

At this critical juncture Powderly, on March 13, chose to issue 
a Secret Circular to all members of the Order. This quickly reached 
the hands of the newspapers and became public property. In this 
manifesto Powderly condemned strikes in any form. 

A stop must be called and the ship brought back to her moorings. It has 
always been, and is at the present time, my policy to advocate conciliation 
and arbitration in the settlement of disputes . . . Thousands of men who 
have become disgusted with the ruinous policy of the strike . . . were drawn 
to us because we proclaimed to mankind that we had discarded the strike 
until all else had failed. . . . No matter what advantage we gain by the 
strike, it is only medicating the symptoms; it does not penetrate the system, 

15 Ibid., 1886, 82-83, 164-165, 170-172; Martin Irons, "My Experiences 
in the Labor Movement," Lippincott's Magazine, XXXVII (June 1886), 

16 Knights of Labor, Proceedings of the General Assembly, 188G, 81-82; 
Ruth A. Allen, The Great Southwest Strike, Austin, 1942, G3-64. 


and therefore fails in effecting a cure. . . . You must submit to injustice at 
the hands of the employer in patience for a while longer. Bide well your 
time. Make no display of organization or strength until you have every 
man and woman in your department of industry organized, and then do 
not strike, but study, not only your own condition, but that of your em- 
ployer. Find out how much you are justly entitled to, and the tribunal 
of arbitration will settle the rest.i'^ 

These sentiments had been expressed by Powderly in the past, but 
their reiteration at this critical moment served only to place the head 
of the Order in the contradictory position of publicly opposing a 
strike of which he was the leader. The irony of the situation must 
have appeared highly amusing to Gould and served only to stiffen 
his determination to break the power of the Knights on his rail- 
road system. 

Powderly then agreed to Irons' request that he go to New York 
City and endeavor to see Gould. On March 28 the meeting took 
place. Gould adopted the position that as one of several directors 
he had no power to intervene personally. He finally agreed to send 
Hoxie a telegram instructing him to give preference in rehiring to 
employees of the railroad, and not to discriminate against the Order. 
The crucial section of the message stated; "We see no objection 
to arbitrate any differences between the employees and the company, 
past and future." There is some circumstancial evidence indicating 
that Gould sent Hoxie another message that was never made public. 
Although Powderly had no legal authority to end the strike, since 
that power was vested in the originating authority, the Executive 
Board of District Assembly 101 honored the settlement and ordered 
the workers to return to their jobs.-^^ 

This settlement was too vague to provide the basis for a lasting 
agreement. Ensuing events proved this, for after the strike had 
ended Hoxie issued a statement that he was willing to meet a com- 
mittee of employees "who are actually at work in the service of the 
company." This was interpreted so as to exclude negotiators o£ 
the Knights representing the workers. The Exeaitive Boards of 
District Assemblies 101, 93, and 17, after being informed by Hoxie 
that only 50 per cent of his former staff would be rehired and 
that only he would decide who would be taken back, had no choice 

17 Official History of the Great Strike, 70-71. 

18 Powderly to Martin Irons, March 25, 1886; Powderly to Jay Gould, 
April 11, 1886; "Investigation of Labor Troubles in Missouri, Arkansas, 
Kansas, Texas, and Illinois" (1888), House Report ilTi, 49 Cong., 2 Sess., 
Pt. 1, 22, 37, 40-41; Official History of the Great Strike, 75-76. 


but to order the strike to continue. Even before this the Knights' 
General Exeaitive Board had retracted its instructions ending the 
walkout. -^^ 

Throughout the entire affair Powderly insisted that the workers 
had erred in striking. After Gould reneged on the March 28 agree- 
ment Powderly refused to seek another conference. On April 11 
he asked Gould to force Hoxie to comply with the settlement, even 
divorcing Gould from any responsibility for Hoxie's actions. But 
soon Powderly was convinced that Gould was as "untruthful as 
the devil," and issued an appeal to the Order for financial aid. At 
the same time, however, he wrote to John W. Hayes and Charles 
H. Litchman, two prominent officials of the Knights, asking them 
to serve on a committee which would investigate his contention that 
the strike was a rebellious move by the workers intended to defy 
the authority of the General Executive Board. Finally, on May 3, 
the Board unconditionally called off the strike."*^ 

After the strike the Knights rapidly lost ground among the 
men of the Southwest, many of whom resented what they considered 
to be a betrayal of their interests by the Order. Powderly, however, 
alvv^ays m.aintained that he had been thrust into an unfortunate situa- 
tion not of his own making. He refused to face the fact that 
employers at that time would rarely concede anything to the workers 
unless forced to do so by superior strength. Any concession gained 
by labor usually required a strong union to see that the gains 
were maintained. Yet during the walkout Powderly wistfully wrote 
to Gould suggesting that the Knights would withdraw from the 
strike if Gould would reach an equitable settlement with the workers 
on his own. Many strikers also felt that a serious error had been 
committed in surrendering unconditionally to Gould, for the hope 
that the congressional committee investigating the strike would 
protect the workers never materialized."^ 

A few months later, following quickly upon the heels of the 
disastrous defeat inflicted by Gould, came the Chicago stockyards 

19 Official History of the Great Strike, 78-80, 87-88; "Investigation 
of Labor Troubles," Pt. I, 27. 

20 Powderly to James Ward, April 8, 1886; Powderly to William O. 
McDowell, April 8, 10, 11 and 13, 1886; Powderly to Jay Gould, April 
11, 1886; Powderly to Frederick Turner, April 12, 1886; Powderly to 
"the Order Wherever Found," April [?] 1886; Powderly to John W. 
Hayes, April 14, 1886; Powderly to Charles H. Litchman, April 17, 1886; 
Official History of the Great Sti'ike, 101, 111-112, 

21 Journal of United Labor, VII (November 10, 1886), 2200; New 
Haven Workmen's Advocate, March 5, 1887; Powderly to Gould, April 11, 
1886; "Investigation of Labor Troubles," Pt. I, 17. 


Strike. Powderly's actions in tiiis walkout served only to confirm 
the poor impression gained by many who felt that his handling of 
the Southwest strike was one of the prime reasons for its failure. 

During the May 1886 eight-hour agitation the Chicago stockyard 
workers had successfully struck for eight hours. Throughout the sum- 
mer the packers attempted to reduce wages. When the workers re- 
fused to accept the cut the employers reinstituted the ten-hour day. 
The General Assembly, then in session, decided to send T. B. Barry, 
a member of the General Executive Board, to Chicago with instruc- 
tions not to involve the Knights. Barry, upon his arrival, concluded 
an agreement with two companies to order the strike off and have 
the men return to the ten-hour day. At a later date the two com- 
panies were to break away from the packers' organization and in- 
stitute an eight-hour day with nine hours pay. Barry agreed to this 
settlement because he felt the workers were "fighting a losing 
fight." The workers returned to work only to go out on strike 
two weeks later. Barry returned to Chicago and the General Execu- 
tive Board sent Albert A. Carlton to assist him, again with orders 
not to involve the Knights."" 

Prior to Carlton's arrival in Chicago, Powderly sent the following 
communication to Barry: 

In a circular issued March 13, 1886, I stated the policy of the Knights of 
Labor on the eight-hour question. ... In opposition to that circular the 
men at stockyards struck for eight hours. . . . You were sent to try and 
settle . . . You settled by ordering the men back at the old hours. They 
have, in violation of law and your order, and without notifying us, again 
struck for eight hours. The Board instructs you and Carlton ... to settle 
by putting the men back at the old hours ... If the men refuse, take their 
charters. We must have obedience and discipline. 

This dispatch, immediately becoming public property, strengthened 
the determination of the packers not to concede. While Powderly 
was uninformed of Barry's previous agreement, the moment was 
not propituous for such instructions. Barry and Carlton immediately 
wired Powderly of their opposition to his instructions, but by that 
time it was too late to affect the outcome. Powderly was bitterly 
condemned by the stockyard workers, and the Knights entered a 
spiral of decline in Chicago. Barry was so incensed at Powderly's 

22 Knights of Labor, Proceedings of the General Assembly, 1886, 174- 
175; 1887, 1419-1420; Bari-y to Powderly, October 19, 1886; Barry to 
Powderly and the General Executive Board, November 7, 1886; Powderly, 
The Path I Trod, 149-152. ^ 




actions that an open break occurred between the two men, and two 
years later Barry was expelled from the Order, largely at Powderly's 

Like many other labor leaders, Powderly also participated in 
politics. As head of the Knights he was in large measure respon- 
sible for its political policy, and his own personal experiences often 
conditioned his political attitude. Between 1878 and 1882 Pow- 
derly took part in Pennsylvania politics under the auspices of the 
Greenback Labor Party. During these years the Order worked 
closely, although unofficially, with that party. Nevertheless, Pow- 
derly maintained that no man could be forced to vote for a par- 
ticular candidate, and he consistently proclaimed that the purpose 
of the Order was to educate men and parties. At the same time 
he stated that he would recommend voting for a candidate who 
was a member of the Order in place of one who was not. Although 
generally advocating a nonpartisan political attitude, Powderly's 
actions also were in part motivated by personal ambition. While 
publicly stating that he belonged to no party, he often engaged in 
negotiations in the hope of being elected to high public office. Al- 
though he declined in 1882 the nomination for Secretary of Internal 
Affairs in Pennsylvania, his reluctance was due primarily to his 

23 Knights of Labor, Proceedings of the General Assembly, 1887, 1421, 
1482-1485. Joseph R. Buchanan in his autobiography claimed that Pow- 
derly called off the strike after receiving a letter from a Roman Catholic 
priest exhorting him to end the suffering and misery of the workers and 
their families. Powderly, on the other hand, claimed that he had not 
opened the letter until after the strike had been called off. Actually it 
matters little whose version is correct for, in any case, Powderly's course 
would probably have been similar. His ideological hostility toward strikes in- 
sured his lack of sympathy toward the stockyard workers. — Joseph R. 
Buchanan, The Story of a Labor Agitator, New York, 1903, 319-322; P. M. 
Flannigan to Powderly, October 16, 1886, reprinted in Powderly, The Path 
I Trod, 147-148; Knights of Labor, Proceedings of the General Assembly, 
1887, 1479. 

Powderly so resented what he regarded were unjustified attacks upon 
his actions during the Southwest and stockyards strikes that during the 
walkout on the Reading Railroad system in the winter of 1887-1888 he de- 
cided not to interfere in any way. Although tempted to step into the strike, 
he changed his mind, explaining to Hayes on January 13 that "From the in- 
formation at hand and from the experience of the past I am led to the opinion 
that my interference will do no good and inasmuch as I have been blamed for 
failure of the Southwest strike, the Stock yards strike and other strikes in 
which I was forced to interfere after they had been started without any ad- 
vice from me, I feel that I am justified in doing as much as the man requested 
'in keeping hands off and giving them a show;" Powderly to Austin Corbin, 
January 12, 1888 (letter never sent) ; Powderly to John W. Hayes, January 
13 and February 7, 1888; Powderly to Charles H. Litchman, February 
13, 1888. 


belief that the Greenback Labor Party had cheated him out of a 
seat in Congress.""* 

Powderly's disillusionment was the occasion for a change in 
the Order's political policy, and the close relationship with the 
Greenback Labor Party was dissolved. For the succeeding four 
years the problems of growth and strikes took up so much time 
that Powerly gave little attention to politics. His attitude was also 
influenced by the realization that labor participation in politics had 
not met with notable success, and the experiences of the National 
Labor Union only heightened this fact."^ 

However, he was unable to renounce politics completely, and 
after 1882 attempted to use his influence in the legislative arena. 
In February, 1884, Powderly appeared before a congressional com- 
mittee in support of an anti-contract-labor bill being pushed by 
Local Assembly 300. In 1885 he suggested that the Order estab- 
lish lobbies in state capitals and also in Washington. The follow- 
ing year Powderly was momentarily caught up in the political en- 
thusiasm engendered by the "Great Upheaval," and he endorsed a 
plan to build up a congressional labor bloc. At the same time he 
refused to permit the Order to become involved with the National 
Union Labor Party, heir to the Greenback Labor Party. ^^ 

After 1886 Powderly directed his major efforts toward forging 
a working alliance with the American farmers. The steps in this 
direction were motivated only partly by a hope of inducing the 
farmers to affiliate themselves with the Order. Equally important 
was Powderly's desire to secure agrarian support in the legislative 
halls of the nation. Such a coalition was perfectly compatible with 
his reformism. Seeking the establishment of a society of small 
producers, he assumed the existence of a community of interests 
between farmer and worker. ^^ 

Yet Powderly, although moving in the direction of an agrarian 
alliance, still affirmed his nonpartisanship. In 1888 he reiterated 

24 Knights of Labor, Proceedings of the General Assembly, 1880, 258; 
Powderly, Thirty Years of Labor, 285-286; McNeill, The Labor Movement, 
417-418; Journal of United Labor, III (June 1882), 241-242; Powderly 
to Joseph Labadie, November 13, 1882. 

Between 1878 and 1884 Powderly also held the post of mayor of 

25 Cf. Gerald N. Grob, "Reform Unionism: The National Labor Union," 
Journal of Economic History, XIV (Spring 1954), 126-142. 

26 Powderly, Thirty Years of Labor, 444-447; PowJerly to George 
Edmunds, January 14, 1885; Powderly to Ralph Beaumont, July 27, 1886; 
Knights of Labor, Proceedings of the General Assembly, 1885, 16; Journal 
of United Labor, VII (February 5, 1887), 2276. 

27 Journal of the Knights of Labor, XII (April 28, 1892), 1. 


his belief that when an officer entered the service of a poUtical 
party he had a moral obligation to resign from the Order. Pow- 
derly's ambitions, however, induced him to engage in secret political 
negotiations with both major political parties in the fall and summer 
of 1888. Although no results were forthcoming, it is by no means 
certain that Powderly would not have accepted a sufficiently tempt- 
ing offer. "^ 

Between 1889 and 1892 the alliance between the Order and farm- 
ers grew closer together. In December 1889 Powderly attended the 
farmers' convention in St. Louis. Nevertheless, throughout this per- 
iod Powderly consistently maintained that when he voted for a farm- 
er-labor party, it was only as an individual and not as a Knight. Each 
step that he took was a cautious one. In 1890 he conducted a poll to 
determine the sentiment of the rank and file toward political action. 
When chosen as a delegate to the convention of the People's Party 
in 1892 he refused, stating that he vv'ould attend, but only as an indi- 
vidual. During the ensuing campaign he was lukewarm toward 
Weaver's candidacy, doing little except writing letters. His lack of 
enthusiasm for Weaver was evident when he expressed a preference 
for Harrison rather than Cleveland.^'' 

Powderly's political beliefs were generally in keeping with the 
majority of trade union leaders. Except when personal ambition be- 
came important, he retained a nonpartisan attitude with an emphasis 
on the value of the lobby and support of candidates friendly toward 
labor. His moves in the direction of a farmer-labor alliance were 
partly motivated by a hope of preventing a numerically powerful 
element within the Order from committing that organization to a 
particular political party. After Powderly's exit the Knights joined 
in full support of Bryan in 1896.^*^ 

In Powderly's vision of a united working class striving for the 
abolition of the wage system and the establishment of a co-operative 
society, there stood certain barriers that could not be ignored, namely 

28 Powderly to I. N. Ross, September 11, 1888. I have also benefited 
immensely from the excellent study by Edward T. James, "American Labor 
and Political Action, 1865-1896: The Knights of Labor and Its Predeces- 
sors," Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard University, 1954. 

29 Journal of the Kniglits of Labor, X (January 16, 1890), 1-3; 
(April 24, 1890), 1; (May 1, 1890), 1; (June 5, 1890), 1; XI (October 16, 
1890), 1; XII (June 2, 1892), 1; XIII (June 30, 1892), 1; Powderly to A. H. 
Shank, January 15, 1892; Powderly to F. Reed Agnew, June 14, 1892; Pow- 
derly to J. A. Fox, September 30, 1892; Powderly to G. F. Washburn, 
October 13, 1892. 

30 Cf. Knights of Labor, Proceedings of the General Assembly, 1896, 
51-52, 59-60. 


the problems of female, Negro, Chinese and immigrant labor. These 
groups were often utilized by employers in the capacity of cheap 
labor or strikebreakers, thus undermining the effectiveness of labor 

In admitting women to the Order, Powderly ruled in 1881 that 
separate forms and rituals for women were unnecessary, and during 
the eighties the Knights became the first major labor body to in- 
clude thousands of women workers within its ranks. ^^ 

On the pressing issue of the admission of Negroes, Powderly 
expressed his opinion that color was not a qualification for member- 
ship. At the Richmond General Assembly in 1886 he permitted him- 
self to be introduced by a Negro delegate from New York City. 
Powderly felt that cheap Negro labor had to be eliminated if 
white labor was to organize effectively. While the Knights did 
organize tens of thousands of colored workingmen, there was much 
rank and file pressure to separate or exclude the Negro altogether. 
This pressure forced Powderly to adopt a moderate position. "The 
color line cannot be rubbed out," he wrote in 1887, "nor can the 
prejudice against the colored man be overcome in a day. I believe 
that for the present it would be better to organize colored men by 
themselves." In 1889 he informed the St. Louis farmers' conven- 
tion: "We believe the Southern people are capable of managing 
the negro. . . . The social relations of the races is not the question. . . . 
we do ask that where the black man becomes a lever with which to 
oppress the white man ... he shall be protected . . . When it comes 
to my home that is my concern, and none have the right to say 
with whom I shall associate there."^" 

In the area of immigration Powderly adopted a position comm^on 
to most contemporary labor leaders. In 1884 he supported the re- 
striction of European immigration. "There is grave danger," Pow- 
derly told the Order eight years later, "that in a babel of tongues 
we may forget that we are freemen in this country, and in losing 
sight of that fact allow the incoming horde to Europeanize us be- 
fore we can Americanize them." His views in regard to the Chinese 
were quite similar. In 1880 he supported attempts to force Congress 

31 Ibid., September 1879, 125, 131; Norman J. Ware, The Labor Move- 
ment in the United States 1860-1895, New York, 1929, 348; Powderly, The 
Path I Trod, 384. 

3 2 Powderly to J. Stewart, October 8, 1879; Powderly to W. H. Lynch, 
April 13, 1886; Powderly to J. M. Bannan, July 8, 1887; Knights of Labor, 
Proceedings of the General Assembly, 1880, 257; Powderly, Thirty Years 
of Labor, 651-660; Journal of the Knights of Labor, X (January 16, 
1890), 1-2. 


to abrogate the Burlingame Treaty, and at the General Assembly 
ruled against a point of order permitting the Chinese to join the 
Knights. In 1882 Powderly went to Washington to lobby for the 
termination of the Burlingame Treaty. When news of the Chinese 
massacre in 1885 at Rock Springs, Wyoming Territory, involving 
members of the Order, became known, Powderly retreated somewhat 
from his earlier position, expressing the thought that perhaps the 
Knights had gone too far. His attitude in regard to the Chinese, 
however, never underwent any significant transformation.^^ 

In 1893 Powderly was deposed by an alliance of Western 
agrarians headed by James R. Sovereign of Iowa and socialists led by 
Daniel De Leon of New York City. The difficulty arose when 
Powderly, who had the constitutional power to present to the Gen- 
eral Assembly nominees for election to the General Executive Board, 
refused to present men acceptable to the convention. His action led 
one delegate to remark: 

I have become convinced, since the opening of this session, that the General 
Master Workman holds as his enemy every delegate who does not vote 
in accordance with his views on all questions, and appears unwilling to place 
in nomination for the General Executive Board any man who is likely 
to stand up for his own opinions when they happen to conflict with those 
of his chief. 

Powderly twice resigned in the hope of forcing the convention to 
accede to his wishes. The second time the General Assembly, to 
Powderly's consternation, accepted his resignation and elected James 
R. Sovereign as his successor.^^ 

The end of Powderly's career as leader of the Knights of Labor 
also marks the conclusion of a significant chapter in the history of 
the labor movement. Powderly was the final representative of a 
group of labor reformers hoping to return to a pre-industrial society. 
But the time for such a change had passed. By 1900 the frontier 
was gone; suitable land for farming had all been taken up; and 
large-scale enterprise was dominant. As a result Powderly's reform 
program did not fit the environment, for the raison d'etre had been 
cut away from many of the old objectives. The technology and 
organization of society had made the co-operative workshop some- 

33 Knights of Labor, Proceedings of the General Assembly, 1884, 575- 
577; 1892, 5; Journal of United Labor, I (August 15, 1880), 39; Powderly, 
Thirty Years of Labor, 426-427; Powderly to unidentified correspondent, 
November 19, 1882; Powderly to J. W. Adams, February 7, 1883; Powderly 
to Thomas Neasham, October 31, 1885. 

34 Knights of Labor, Proceedings of the General Assemby, 1893, 7-61. 


what of an anachronism, and the ideal of the small producer was 
technologically obsolete. Perhaps the best summation of Powderly's 
years of leadership in the labor movement was expressed in a letter 
written shortly before his deposal as head of the Knights: 

I have held a most anomalous position before the public for the last 
20 years. All of this time I have opposed strikes and boycotts; I have 
contended that the wage question was of secondary consideration; I have 
contended that the short-hour question was not the end but merely the means 
to an end . . . but all of this time I have been fighting for a raise in wages, 
a reduction in the hours of labor or some paltry demand of the trade element 
to the exclusion of the very work that I have constantly advocated. Just 
think of it! opposing strikes and always striking; opposing a battle for 
short hours and lacking the time to devote to anything else. Battling with 
my pen in the leading journals and magazines of the day for the grand 
things we are educating the people on, and fighting with might and main 
for the little things. Our Order has held me up to the present position I 
hold because of the reputation I have won in the nation at large by taking 
high ground, and yet the trade element in the Order has always kept me 
busy at the base of the breast works throwing up the earth which they 
trampled down. Again, no man in this country has so many domineering 
bosses as I have, for every member feels it to be his right to sit down and 
abuse me if he pleases or order me around to do as he likes and not as 
I think. . . . On the other hand my relations with my brother officers . . . 
are not pleasant ... I who have been preaching independence for others 
have been the slave of thousands, and as my reward am as little understood 
by the people I work for as Hoke Smith or Dink Botts.^^ 

Gerald N. Grob 
United States Army, 
Corps of Engineers, 
Engineer Historical Division 

35 Powderly to Mrs. A. P. Stevens, April 11, 1893. I have not touched 
upon Powdei'ly's actions in the difficulties between the Knights and the 
Catholic Church during the eighties. Aside from being too long, the story 
has been more than amply related and documented by Henry J. Browne 
in The Catholic Church and the Knights of Labor, Wasliington, D. C, 1949, 
and "Terence V. Powderly and Church-Labor Difficulties of the Early 
1880's," Catholic Historical Review, XXXII (April 1946), 1-27. As Father 
Browne has pointed out, the difficulties which churchmen and labor leaders 
had to adjust revolved around the Knights' oath-bound secrecy, its Masonic 
aspects, its resemblances to the Molly Maguires, and its apparent socialistic 
or radical character. Powderly's version of the troubles in a chapter in 
his autobiography entitled "Ecclesiastical Opposition" {The Path I Trod, 
317-381), is not fully authenticated either by his personal papers nor the 
views of prominent churchmen. Powderly claimed that the Catholic Church 
leaders of the eighties "advised obedience to the established order" {Ibid., 
342). Within the Church, however, as in contemporary American society, 
all shades of opinion existed on the so-called "labor problem." 

A Note on Early Sonora and 

Father Kino's Chomkes 

Studying the numerous works pertaining to the early spiritual 
conquest of the northwest of New Spain, one finds that not all 
investigators are in accord. There are points of no great importance 
perhaps, that have been variously presented and interpreted so as 
to clarify ambiguous statements or to inject some meaning to an 
obscure sentence. This procedure helped the investigator as well 
as the student, but, as further research throws more light upon the 
past, the variations should be dealt with more seriously for the 
sake of truth and benefit of future scholars. The remarks that 
follow are offered not as criticism but in helpful sincerity and with 
due respect for those that have preceded me in the rugged study of 
Spanish manuscripts, some of which are of illegible scription and 
nearly all of intricate phraseology, abounding in obsolete words and 
numerous abbreviations that defy unravelling. 

Father Kino's chomites have puzzled various writers. When 
the renowned explorer-missionary of the southwest visited the 
native villages, to win over the aborigines he gave them chomtte 
Colorado. The item has been identified by the late Professor Herbert 
E. Bolton as a red bandanna, and Bolton dubs Kino's policy as 
"handkerchief diplomacy."-^ More recently Ernest J. Burrus, S.J., 
in his Kino Reports to Headquarters refers to chomites colorados 
as small red bandannas.^ The Spanish phase reads ". . . le pusse 
un poco de chomite Colorado en la caveza ..." which Burrus trans- 
lates "I put a small red bandanna on his head." However, in nearly 
all instances where the noun chojuite or its plural is used, it is found 
modified by the adjective "poco" meaning little and implying quan- 
tity or amount, not size. 

Juan Matheo Mange in his Luz de Tierra Incognita states: "... 
hallamos una rancheria en que conte 30 almas, hablandoles y dado 
un poco de chomite y agujas, proseguimos al Sur . . . ,"^ which 

1 Rim of Christendom, New York, 1936, 150. 

2 Rome, Italy, 1954, pages 41, 73, 75; the Spanish phrase herein is 
on p. 74. 

3 Mexico, 1926, 231. 



translated almost literally says: "We found a settlement in which 
I counted 30 souls; having talked to and given them a small amount 
of chomite and needles, we proceeded south." The fact that chomite 
appeared associated with needles offered a solution to the ambiguity; 
it refers to red coral beads, or a substance resembling coral reef 
from which the Indians could make beads and string them with 
the needles given. In support of this argument and perhaps to 
answer the query taking shape in the reader's mind, let me quote 
Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca who in 1536 visited the northern 
part of Sonora: 

The people gave us many deer and cotton shawls better than those of New 
Spain, many beads and certain corals found on the South Sea, and fine 
turquoises that come from the north. Indeed they gave us every thing they 
had. To me they gave five emeralds made into arrowheads, which they 
use at their singing and dancing."* 

On February 6, 1606, Captain Diego Martinez de Hurdaide 
wrote thus: 

So that others might know the esteem in which the coral is held, all a 
soldier has to carry is six arm-lengths of the white and ninety beads of the 
red; said coral is brought by the aborigines from the Yaqui River, also 
from the Quivira River, where it is said it is found. I have witnessed how 
the Indians prize the red coral ; they have it of the most vivid color and 
I had to trade two horses for the little I am sending as a sample. It is 
said that the Mayo Indians have much, but as they are at war, it has not 
been possible to enter and barter. There are also certain stones called 
turquoises of a hue similar to the seven small ones being sent along with 
the coral. They are beautiful and in demand in Guadalajara, Culiacan and 
other places from which agents are sent to buy them. 5 

4 The Narrative of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, edited by Frederick 
W. Hodge, in Spanish Explorers in the Southern United States 1528-1543, 
New York, 1907, 106; this is a most accurate translation of the Relacion 
de los Natifragios y Comentarios, Madrid, 1906, I, 118. 

5 Unpublished manuscript in the Archivo General de la Nacion, Mexico, 
ramo de Historia, tomo 316, seccion de Jesuitas, folios 39-149 titled: Carta 
y Relacion que yo el General Diego Martinez de Urdaide envio al Ex- 
celentisimo Seiior Virrey de la Nueva Espana para que la vea mi Padre 
Nicolas de Amaya, Provincial de la Compania de Jesus. The Spanish is 
as follows: 

"Para que se vea de la consideracion que sera el coral que traen 
los naturales del Rio Yaquimi, que alii dicen lo hay y en el Rio de Quivira, 
lleva el soldado, por todo, seis brazas de lo bianco y noventa cuentas de 
lo Colorado; que estiman mucho los indios de lo Colorado, lo he visto; hay 
con mas viva la color, y me costo dos caballos que di por el que para 
muestra basta y se podra sacar por el lo demas; los del Mayo poseen 
mucho y como estan en guerra no se ha podido entrar a resgatar; asi mismo 
hay Unas piedras que llaman turquesas, muy hermosas, de la color de 
las _ siete pequenuelas que van con el dicho coral, que de Guadalajara, 
Culiacan y otras partes las envian a comprar." 


It is to be noted that Hurdaide, while mentioning what he had 
heard as to the sources, skillfully evades an opinion as to the truth- 
fulness of the statements. He definitely calls it coral, classifies 
it into two varieties, but as in the case of the turquoises, his care- 
ful wording implies a certain doubt. He may not have been well 
versed in paleontology or geology, but very likely knew that reef- 
building corals could only fluorish in clean, shallow, fresh, sea- 
water, or he might have suspected that they were fossil corals of 
the Silurian type, favosytes or halysites. At any rate, they looked 
like corals, were so called by his men, all of whom were less learned 
than he, and in order to avoid responsibility, he sent samples. He 
names the two rivers where it was said the coral came from although 
the Quivira one — later explorers discovered — was as mythical as 
the province of the same name. As to the Mayo tribe, well, they 
were on the warpath and Hurdaide reports what he heard. The 
South Sea referred to by Nufiez Cabeza de Vaca was one of the 
names given to the California Gulf. Thus, it is possible that towards 
the end of the century, when Father Kino came north, he had 
learned the true nature of the substance and initiated a new nomencla- 
ture. And as Father Burrus points out, chomtte is synonymous with 
zagalejo, indicative of a gown, tunic or skirt, from which the learned 
Dr. Bolton deduced it might have been something that could be 
placed upon the head. 

Alberto Francisco Pradeau 
Los Angeles, California 

Notes and Comments 

Calendar of Philippine Documents in the Ayer Collection of the 
Newberry Library, Edited by Paul S Lietz, was published toward 
the end of 1956. It will undoubtedly prove a great boon to scholars 
of many avocations, just as its predecessor, Ruth Lapham Butler's 
Check List of Alanuscripts in the Edward E. Ayer Collection of the 
Newberry Library has been since its publication in 1937. These 
guides to materials are realizations of the ideal of the famed Library 
to render all possible aid to students and researchers. 

In his introduction Dr. Lietz traces briefly the history of the 
collection of Philippine materials gathered by Mr. Ayer at the turn 
of the century, of their use by Blair and Robertson, of the subse- 
quent additions of manuscripts, and of their coming to the Library. 
The three hundred and seventy items in the Calendar run to about 
seven thousand pages, and it must be said that Dr. Lietz has per- 
sonalized them handsomely by giving all the necessary biographical 
data of each, the date and place of birth of the document, its author 
and addressee, the Spanish description of the time, the later char- 
acterization in English, and the technical data of its long life. 
Arranged chronologically the Calendar begins at the year 1557 and 
ends with the 1903 entry. To make the book more helpful the 
manuscript list is followed by a "Short Title List of Transcripts 
from Philippine Documents in the Spanish Archives," which runs 
to fifty pages and contains in chronological order items dating from 
circa A. D. 1280 to circa 1843. 

A great number of the calendared items present an immediate 
challenge to research for a scholarly article or book. Titles and topics 
are plentiful for a wide variety of interested students: of ethnology, 
linguistics , administration, missions, trade, ecclesiastical history, 
colonialism, international relations, education, agriculture, and na- 
tive customs. The book is beautifully printed and concludes its 
two hundred and fifty-nine pages with a fine index. It may be 
acquired from the Newberry Library for the reasonable sum of 
six dollars. 

Probably the most scholarly, native American historian of colonial 
times was Francisco Javier Alegre. Born in 1729 in Vera Cruz, 



Mexico, and educated in the Jesuit schools there, he entered the 
Company of Jesus in 1747, and was ordained priest in 1754. After 
some years of writing and teaching in Yucatan he was assigned the 
task of producing a history of the Jesuits in New Spain in 1764. He 
had collected his materials and had prepared a first draft of the 
work when without warning on June 25, 1767, he and the other 
Jesuits were arrested and exiled from the Spanish possessions. He 
arrived in Bologna in 1768, and there until his death in 1788 he 
wrote his manuscript history. One of the several copies of this was 
published in three volumes in Mexico City in 1841-1842 by Carlos 
Maria de Bustamente. Despite its deficiencies in editing and print- 
ing it has been of great value to civil and Church historians as well 
as to anthropologists and geographers. 

The first volume of a much needed new edition is now at hand: 
Htstoria de la Provincia de la Conipania de Jesus eti Nueva Espaua, 
Tomo I, Libros 1-3 (Anos 1566-1596), Nueva Edici6n por Ernest 
J. Burrus, S.J., y Felix Zubillaga, S.J., Vol. IX of the Bibliotheca 
Instituti Historici Societatis Jesu, Rome, 1956. The work is very 
capably done by two veteran historians of the Jesuits and remarkably 
well printed. The authorities and documents used by Alegre are 
amply cited in footnotes, where too will be found disputed points 
and references to other documents not available to the exiled scholar. 
In an appendix of nearly a hundred pages there are twenty-two 
documents amplifying or explaining the 430 pages of the Historia 
covering the first thirty years of the activities of the Jesuits in North 
America. There is a bibliography of seventeen pages, an intro- 
duction of forty pages including a biographical sketch of Alegre, a 
description of his sources, and some citations from scholars of the 
esteem in which they held Alegre's work. A calendar list of the forty 
other works of the humanist and historian and an excellent index 
complete the 640 pages of this welcome volume. 

The Minnesota Historical Society in November of last year, 
the eve of the State Centennial, published a revised reprint edition 
of the first volume of William Watts Folwell's four volume A His- 
tory of Minnesota. The set, completed between 1921 and 1929, 
has been treasured by scholars and constantly used by students of 
Minnesota history, but, while copies of the last three volumes are 


Still available, this first volume has long been out of print and 
classified as a collector's item. Folwell was eighty-eight years of age 
in 1921 when the first volume came from the press and he died four 
years short of a hundred when the last volume went to press. One 
of his many outstanding public services was his presidential term 
at the University of Minnesota from its beginnings in 1869 to 1884. 
His achievements are briefly recounted by Russell W. Fridley in 
the introduction. 

The present edition is designed to keep the style and findings 
of Folmer as they were in the original text, even though many new 
materials have been found during the past thirty-five years and much 
research has been done on Minnesota from pre-statehood times to 
1857, the period of the book. Mr. Fridley says in his introduction: 
"No attempt has been made to incorporate newly discovered sources 
or to bring Folwell's interpretations up to date in the light of sub- 
sequent research. Only minor errors have been corrected, and new 
maps and illustrations have been added." Scholars will be inclined 
to agree that substantially the findings of Folwell are still accurate. 
All but the rare book dealers will be happy over the availability of 
this new printing and the modest list price of six dollars and a half. 

"T* 'P "I* *!* 

One would have to be omniscient as regards literature of the 
world to pass competent judgment on the Treasury of World 
Literature, edited by Dagobert D. Runes and published in 1956 by 
Philosophical Library, New York. The huge tome of 1,450 pages, 
whose list price is $15, has selections from poems, essays, dramas, 
novels, and orations of almost every people ancient and modern, 
each translated into English. 

Rapid perusal of the contents reveals the natural defects and 
merits of such a vast compilation. There seems to be an overabund- 
ance of "snippings" which leave one unsatisfied by reason of their 
incompleteness; the presence of too many old "favorites" leaves 
one wondering why his own "favorites" were not chosen; there 
is many times a lack of sufficient explanation or explication; there 
appears to be a stress on scenes of violence and love; Hebrew figures 
in literature and oriental thinkers receive more prominence than is 
customary in anthologies. The merits of the collection are the great 
variety, the rareness or uniqueness of some selections, the useful- 


ness as a guide to unheard of authors, and the availability of an 
armchair or bedside book for a few moments of reading. 

A newsletter written in German prior to 1506 describing the 
sea route from Lisbon to Calicut was printed in Germany a year 
or so after 1506. It was reprinted with some verbal changes by a 
second German press in 1508. Five copies of the two printings 
exist at present. One of the earlier is in the James Ford Bell Col- 
lection of the University of Minnesota Library. This was selected 
for publication in 1956 and now appears in the handsome little 
volume, Fro??i Lisbon to Calicut. The contents are a six page Com- 
mentary by John Parker, Curator of the James Ford Bell Collection; 
a Facsimile of the six page German letter in green type; the five 
page Translator's Note of Alvin E. Prottengeier in five pages; 
the Translation in six pages, and six pages of Notes and Bibliog- 
raphy. The unknown German writer, gathering jottings of infor- 
mation in Lisbon, evidently reported accurately what he had heard 
without distinguishing the true from the false. The book has value 
as one of a thousand new copies of the old letter and as an illus- 
tration of excellent format and typesetting. One of the copies now 
may become a library treasure for five dollars. 

* * * * 

To our knowledge the most complete study of the land, the 
people, and the resources of any state of the Union in Virginia at 
Mid-Century, published in 1955 by Henry Holt and Company. The 
author is Jean Gottmann of the Institute for Advanced Study, Prince- 
ton, who is the French geographer noted for similar studies of Euro- 
pean countries. In the 584 pages are to be found seventy maps, 
charts, and graphs besides the hundred pictures illustrating every 
kind of human activity in Virginia. Gottmann gathered his ma- 
terial by detailed studies of each county and city and of the farm- 
ing, industrial, white-collar, and professional residents thereof. He 
has assessed the value and the potentialities of the great state in de- 
tail and has done so to the extent of making a living personality of 
Virginia. He has laid out a program by his critical evaluation 
whereby the people and their legislators can develop that personality 


to its highest economic and cultural stature. His work is well 
planned and well carried out. 

The compact little Chicago History, published quarterly by the 
Chicago Historical Society, and edited, or better, written by Paul M. 
Angle, devoted its Fall, 1956, number to "Chicago in 1856." In 
choice pictures and prose Mr. Angle described the political, social, 
economic, commercial and cultural aspects of the fast growing city. 
This article concluded the centennial series printed in the three 
preceding numbers: "The World in 1856," "The United States in 
1856," and "Illinois in 1856," all in all an informal but interest- 
ing volume. 

The William and Mary Quarterly for October, 1956, is quite 
noteworthy in that its one hundred fifty pages contains a symposium 
on the "History of Science" during the colonial period. The titles 
of the articles and documents indicate the coverage of the American 
scientific scene prior to 1776. "Cadwallader Colden's Extension of 
the Newtonian Principles," by Brooke Hindle, considers Colden's 
"audacious claim" that he "had discovered the cause of gravitation." 
Professor Genevieve Miller writes: "Smallpox Inoculation in Eng- 
land and America: A Reappraisal." Denis I. Duveen collaborates 
with Herbert S. Klickstein on "The "American' Edition of Lavoisier's 
U art de fabriquer le salin et la potasse." Harry Woolfe has "British 
Preparations for Observing the Transit of Venus of 1761." Whit- 
field J. Bell, Jr., edits "Nicholas Collin's Appeal to American Scien- 
tists" as expressed in "An Essay on Those Inquiries in Natural Phi- 
losophy, Which at Present are the Most Beneficial to the United 
States of America." And finally there is "Astrology in Colonial 
America: An Extended Query," by William D. Stahlman. 

Charles McKew Parr's So Noble a Captain, The Life and Ti??7es 
of Ferdinand Magellan, appeared in 1953 and was received vv^ith 
wide acclaim by a score of reviewers in popular and scholarly 
periodicals. It has now been translated into Spanish by Don Jose 
Alberich Sotomayor and published in Madrid by Editorial Sapientia. 


Commended for its historical objectivity, documentation even in 
minute details, and for its pleasant and easy narrative style, the 
translation, Magallanes, Un noble Capitan, may be considered as 
useful from another viewpoint, namely, for reading purposes in 
Spanish language and literature classes of the college level. The 
translation made with such care and literary grace by Alberich Soto- 
mayor adds a pedagogical value to the work. This is not to say 
that it should be studied by students through an entire semester, 
but rather that it can be used for purposes of outside or additional 
reading, while some of the technical passages can be used as models 
of translation from one language to another. For the translator 
has conveyed the author's thought accurately in a simple style with 
a limited vocabulary and syntactical clarity, eschewing excessively 
technical vocables. Added to this, the book is so constructed that 
the action develops in a background of high adventure and ominous 
commercial and political intrigues, which so affect the destiny of the 
great explorer that in his tragic death one can see a climax analogous 
to that found in heroic tragedies. The narrative is one from real 
life and would have for students more value than the correlative 
readings generally chosen from fiction. All in all we have in this 
book, or in selected chapters from it, material calculated to interest, 
to educate, to instruct the reader by increasing his knowledge of the 
Spanish language while at the same time adding to his compre- 
hension of the historical aspects of the great age of discovery and 
colonization. — Jaroslaw Flys, Department of Spanish, Loyola 


An Historical Review 



Published by Loyola University 
Chicago 26, Illinois 



An Historical Review 


An Historical Review^ 

APRIL 1957 




CONFEDERATE CHAPLAINCY . . . Willard E. Wight 67 


AND CONSISTENCY John J. Whealen 73 



NEW ORLEANS Donald G. Castan'/en S>6 








Published quarterly by Loyola University (The Institute of Jesuit History) 
at 50 cents a copy. Annual subscription, $2.00; in foreign countries, $2.50. 
Publication and editorial offices at Loyola University, 6525 Sheridan Road, 
Chicago 26, Illinois. All communications should be addressed to the Manag- 
ing Editor. Entered as second class matter, August 7, 1929, at the post 
office at Chicago, Illinois, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Additional entry 
as second class matter at the post office at Effingham, Illinois. Printed in 
the United States. 


An Historical Review 

APRIL 1957 


The Bishop of Natchez and the 
Confederate Chaplaincy 

The conflict of 1861-1865 created a need for services from the 
:hurches of the Confederacy which they found diffiailt to render 
hrougliout the period of the war. The machinery of the denom- 
nations was geared for peace time ministration to the faithful 
.ettled in established and usually permanent congregations. Con- 
sequently, when large numbers of men were assembled in armies 
ind camps, the problem of providing spiritual guidance to both 
)ecame almost insoluble for Protestant and Catholics alike. 

An almost continuous demand for Catholic chaplains was a 
;ource of anxiety to William Henry Elder, Bishop of Natchez, 
vhose diocese consisted of the entire state of Mississippi.^ From 
he beginning of the war until the Federal occupation of his 
episcopal city, Elder strove mightily to provide spiritual guidance 
o the military forces. Even though he was responsible for serving 
ifteen churches and twenty-eight preaching stations with only a 
lender force of sixteen diocesan priests. Elder at the outbreak of 
lostilities permitted two of them to accompany the departing troops." 

1 William Henry Elder (1819-1904) was born in Baltimore, Maryland, 
md educated at Mount Saint Mary's College, Emmitsburg, Maryland, and 
Jrban College, Rome. Ordained to the priesthood in 1846, he returned to 
md was successively professor and president of Mount Saint Mary's. He 
vas appointed Bishop of Natchez in 1857 and was consecrated to that 
)ffice in the Baltimore cathedral. Twenty-three years later he was trans- 
ferred to Cincinnati where he became coadjutor to his old friend Archbishop 
Fohn Purcell with the right of succession. Upon the death of Purcell in 
L883, Elder became Archbishop of Cincinnati. The period of his episcopacy 
n Natchez is fully covered in Richard O. Gerow, Cradle Days of St. Mary's, 
STatchez, 1941, 133-196. 

2 Metropolitan Catholic Almanac and Laity's Directory, for the United 
States, Canada, and the British Provinces, 1861, Baltimore, 1861, 118. 

As far as can be gathered from the Almanac there were approximately 
J78 priests in the Confederate dioceses at the outbreak of the war. The 



Later in 1861, the priest at Jackson, Mississippi, was granted a com- 
mission as chaplain with the consent of the bishop. Despite this 
drain on his manpower, when Elder went to New Orleans in Decem- 
ber, 1861, to assist at the dedication of a new church. Archbishop 
John Mary Odin spoke with him about sending a chaplain to a 
Louisiana regiment. Upon his return home, Elder found a letter 
lamenting the lack of a Catholic chaplain in the 18th Mississippi 
Regiment and requesting a priest. His unhesitating reply to his 
importuner was "I wrote immediately to Bishop [John] McGill 
of Richmond & if it is he cannot send one I shall in the meanwhile 
make arrangements to let one of our Priests go."^ 

Subsequent reports of the lack of priests among the troops of 
Manassas caused Elder to take counsel with John Quinlan, Bishop 
of Mobile. 

My conscience has been uneasy lately about our Soldiers. In December 
I wrote as I promised to Bishop McGill to make some inquiries about 
Chaplains. From his answer I concluded that a Chaplain would have little 
to do because he told me the Soldiers [sic'] has no care to make use of his 
services. Consequently I took no further steps. But after all it semes to 
me, that the soldiers of our respective Dioceses being an important part of 
our flocks we ought to follow them uith our solicitude & make at least 
all reasonable exertions to bring them to the practice of their religion. Are 
we obliged to wait till they ask for Chaplains? Is it not better for us to 
enquire into their needs if they are indifferent that very indifference is a 
thing that ought to awake our compassion & call forth our exertions to 
remove it. It is frightful to read some of the letters from camp & see how 
wickedness, godlessness & immorality must be prevailing. Besides the 
number of souls lost in battle & sickness what will be the situation of the 

Dioceses of Richmond, Savannah, WheeHng, Charleston, New Orleans, 
Galveston, Little Rock, Mobile, Natchez, Natchitoches, and Nashville, and 
the Vicariate Apostolic of Florida, had various ways of listing the priests, 
some indicating the number of diocesan and religious clergy, some in- 
cluding all under the general term "clergymen." At least forty belonged 
to religious orders and thus were not available for appointment by the 
bishop for chaplain service. Some were from the North and from foreign 
lands. Seventy-eight are listed as "on the missions," presumably not 
available. From 1861 to 1866 the Abnanacs have no data on these dioceses, 
except for Natchez. 

3 Elder to Father Francis Pont, May 17, 1861, Elder Letterbook, 
Number VI, 236; Elder to Mr. John E. Elliott, December 10, 1861, Elder 
Letterbook, Number VII, 237. The Elder Letterbooks are letter press 
copies preserved in the Archives of the Diocese of Natchez. Many pages 
are torn out but fragments remain and it is possible to determine to whom 
addressed from the index which Elder carefully kept in the front of each 
volume. Unless otherwise indicated all citations are from the Elder Letter- 
books which will be referred to by Roman numerals with Arabic numerals 
indicating pages therein. Permission to use these materials was graciously 
granted by His Excellency the Most Reverend Richard O. Gerow, Bishop of 


country after the war if the great body of our young men come home 
hardened & demoraHzed?^ 

For these reasons, the bishop continued, he was inclined to sacrifice 
some of the blessings of religion on the home front for the sake 
of those poor soldiers. Accordingly he sent one of his priests to the 
Louisiana regiment as the Archbishop of New Orleans had begged 
him to do in December. 

The policy followed by the Catholic prelates of waiting for 
specific calls for chaplains from the army appeared to Elder to be 
a mistake. "Is it not our place as Pastors to follow our flocks with 
our solicitude, to enquire into their wants, & to seek means to 
relieve them.'*" he wrote to Archbishop Odin.^ He voiced the same 
thoughts to Patrick N. Lynch, Bishop of Charleston, when he queried 
"Ought not we ourselves to take measures to get commissions" as 
chaplains for the needed priests? "And is it not better to let con- 
gregations at home have only half their usual attendance — than to 
let so many hundreds of young men live &; die in such exposure 
of their souls without help?"'' 

Yet, when Elder made application to the Richmond authorities 
for chaplains' commissions for his priests, they were not always 
forthcoming. In August, 1862, for example, he wrote to the Secre- 
tary of War for a commission for the Reverend John B. Mouton 
to serve the military hospitals located along the Mobile and Ohio 
Railroad. When he had not heard from the application by October, 
General Albert Blanchard, a Catholic, advised him to write to 
Colonel Lucius B. Northrop, the Confederate Commissary General, 
also a Catholic. This Elder did on October 21, but as late as 
November 19, he still had received no answer.'' 

Bishop McGill's statement to the effect that a Catholic chaplain 
would find little to do not only puzzled but very naturally worried 
Elder. Judging from the fact that his two priests at Columbus, 
Mississippi, were continually occupied, he concluded that the dif- 
ference was in the conduct of the individual chaplains. "If the 
Priest waited to be called for, indifference & human respect will 
keep men away. But if he be a zealous shepherd he will look on 
this indifference as the very matter to be remedied & he will be 

4 Elder to Quinlan, February 26, 1862, VII, 326. 

5 Frag-ment, Elder to Odin, Between February 28 and March 5, 1862, 
VII, 319. 

6 Elder to Lynch, March 1, 1862, VII, 340. 

7 Elder to McGill, October 17, 1862, VIII, 114; Elder to Northrup, 
October 21, 1862, VIII, 120; Ibid., November 12, 1862, VIII, 160; Elder 
to Bishop Augustus Martin, November 19, 1862, VIII, 166. 


diligent in going about to hunt up Catholics & bring to them their 
duty & thus he will have work enough."^ Elder's own experience in 
visiting the hospitals contradicted the Bishop of Richmond's state- 
ment. When he spoke to soldiers about confession, "some would 
express at once their willingness or even desire to make it. Others 
would make some faint excuses for a little while but almost in- 
variably they would yield to a few words of advice."^ 

Elder attacked the problem of providing chaplains for the armed 
forces at all levels. When the Confederate Congress in May of 
1861, was disaissing the appointment of chaplains to the Navy, the 
method proposed was that used in the Federal Navy. Under this 
system a chaplain was appointed without regard for the beliefs or 
wishes of the men he was to serve. Elder deplored this method 
for "perhaps not one man in fifty believed in his teachings or cared 
for his prayers — & not a few of them found his service a burden 
to their consciences." In order that the Catholic seamen would 
not be ignored or subjected to persecution in the matter of religious 
service, Elder felt that if the old system of appointing one chaplain 
to a ship was retained "then they ought certainly to take one who 
is most agreeable — not to the President — not to the officers — but 
to the majority of souls on board. "^° 

It was the bishop's opinion that it would accord more with 
American republican institutions "if the appointing of Chaplains & 
the number & choice of the individuals were made dependent on 
the voluntary system with the government doing something for their 
encouragement." In a letter to the Bishop of Charleston Elder 
further outlined his plan. 

Let Government assign a certain portion which [it] would pay to the 
Chaplain — -say one half or one fourth of what he should reasonably expect 
& let the men if they choose make up the complement for one agreeable to 
themselves. If they have not religion enough to do this — the govt, will be 
saved the expense of providing religious service which is not wanted by 
those interested. — And if the men on one ship be divided in sentiments — 
each body has religion enough to furnish the complement for a separate 
clergyman pleasing to themselves — let them have the advantage of two or 
even three Clergymen. It is a novelty but that is no objection. All progress 
is novelty. If inconveniences are anticipated a little foresight followed 
by a little experience will easily devise arrangements & regulations which 
will remedy affairs. ^^ 

8 Elder to Lynch, March 1, 1862, VII, 340. 

9 Elder to McGill, August 4, 1862, VIII, 10. 

10 Elder to Father Napoleon Perche, May 9, 1861, VI, 211. 

11 Elder to Lynch, May 9, 1861, Archives of the Diocese of Charleston, 
Envelope 126. This letter is missing- from the Elder letterbooks at Natchez. 


Supplying food and clothing to the soldiers and paying salaries 
to the officers was an inconvenience to the government, continued 
the bishop, nevertheless, it vv^as the duty of the government to pro- 
vide for the welfare of those in its service. Thus, any objection 
that this system of providing chaplains would involve additional 
expense to the government should have no weight. "Men who 
give themselves wholly to the defence of their country — & are 
willing to give a portion of their pay — the price of their blood — 
to obtain the helps of religion— are certainly entitled to have their 
wants supplied."-^" Then too. Elder added, the same system could 
be applied to the army. 

Thoroughly convinced of the practicability of this or a similar 
plan. Elder wrote to the other bishops, to the editor of the Catholic 
paper in New Orleans, and to the Natchez newspaper, urging a 
change from the old Federal system of appointment. To the Rev- 
erend Napoleon Perche, editor of the New Orleans Propagateur 
Catholique, who, he recognized, knew better than he how to obtain 
acknowledgement of the rights of conscience in the Navy, Elder 
recommended the use of every effort speedily. "Do not have any 
delicacy in writing to Bishops on the matter. The interests are too 
important & the matter too urgent to suffer scruples of delicacy," 
the Natchez prelate advised the clerical newsman. ■^'^ In spite of 
such measures, nothing ever came to Elder's plan. 

In 1862 the method by which chaplains were appointed to the 
army became a matter of grave concern to Elder. His experience 
in the hospitals had convinced him that one regiment was not 
enough to occupy a priest's full time. He, therefore, made inquiry 
of Generals Pierre G. T. Beauregard and Braxton Bragg as to 
their power to assign chaplains to a brigade or to a division. This 
power of assignment was not theirs, they advised him, but the ap- 
pointment came from the War Department and the nomination 
was made by the officers of the regiment. Here again was the old 
Federal system which was unfair to the men, who were obviously 
at the mercy of their officers. Beauregard and Bragg encouraged 
Elder to make application for a change. Journeying to Mobile, 
Elder and Bishop Quinlan drew up a memorial to the Confederate 
Congress requesting that one Catholic priest always be appointed 
as chaplain to each division of the army. Their memorial was 
then sent to the Bishop of Richmond on August 4, who signed it 
and presented it. When a favorable response was not forthcoming, 

12 Ibid. 

13 Elder to Father Napoleon Perche, May 9, 1861, VI, 211. 


Elder in October suggested to McGill that it might be well for him 
to press the matter of the memorial personally. "With such an 
amount of multifarious business as the officials of Richmond have 
on hand, it is very natural for them to forget or to lay aside any- 
thing which they are not especially urged to attend to."-^^ In spite 
of this, no progress was ever made in the matter. 

After the passage of the conscription law, amendments to it 
were proposed at every meeting of the Congress. Elder, with his 
dwindling supply of priests, was particularly fearful that a draft law 
applying indiscriminately to all men of the Confederacy would be 
passed. With this as a possibility, he felt that some interchange 
of ideas as to the proper course to be pursued should take place, so 
that the prelates of the South would show some unanimity of 
sentiment and uniformity of act. He did not believe, he wrote 
the Bishop of Richmond, that there was room "to question that it 
would be positively sinful for any Priest actually to engage in the 
soldier's life; & it seems to me that no grave reason like compul- 
sion, imprisonment, or other punishment would be a sufficient 
[reason to} justify him in entering on it." If some officials were 
allowed discretionary power to exempt or detail some of the clergy 
most needed at home for ministerial duty, "would it be right for 
a Bishop or Priest to make application for such exemption or de- 
tail?" Elder was of the opinion that if the exemption was to be 
granted at the discretion of an officer in the nature of a gratuitous 
favor then the bishops should not allow application to be made 
by the priests and that it should be forbidden by censure if necessary. ^^ 

Elder's fears concerning conscription were never realized; for the 
fall of New Orleans and the subsequent occupation of Natchez by 
the Federal troops placed his priests beyond the reach of the Con- 
federate conscript officers. With the coming of the enemy the 
problem of the Confederate chaplaincy also faded. Indeed, Elder 
now encountered problems of a more personal nature. In 1864 he 
was arrested by the Federal commander and exiled for a short 
period from his episcopal seat. Even so, as long as he had been 
able he had labored incessantly to provide the Catholics in the military 
service of the Confederate States of America with spiritual conso- 

^^^'°"- WiLLARD E. Wight 

Georgia Institute of Technology 

14 Elder to McGill, August 4, 1862, VIII, 10; Elder to Bishop Augustus 
Martin, November 19, 1862, VIII, 166; Elder to McGill, October 17, 1862, 
VIII, 114. 

15 Elder to McGill, September 25, 1862, VIII, 94. 

American Liberalism: 
Its Meaning and Consistency 


Since roughly the turn of this century, a great political argument 
has been raging in this country over the meaning of the term 
"liberalism" in the context of our society. This discussion began 
with the desertion of many conservatives from the party which 
nominated William Jennings Bryan in 1896; increased in intensity 
with the accession to power of Woodrow Wilson and his New 
Freedom policies in 1912; and reached an almost ludicrous peak in 
the era of the New Deal. At this writing the term is still in full 

Basically, this argument stems from the increasing role govern- 
ment (especially the Federal) has been playing in the United States 
since shortly before the turn of the century in attempting to regulate 
business growth and monopoly, curb property rights, and in general 
provide as much social security as possible for all its citizens. Such 
a role and such practices, it has been asserted, represent a distinct 
departure from the foundations of American greatness and, although 
pushed through to realization by the so-called liberal parties of the 
country, in reality represent a definite departure from that tradition 
and are therefore examples of false liberalism. 

Thus in 1896 and 1912 when William Jennings Bryan and 
Woodrow Wilson respectively captured control of the Democracy, 
many prominent Democrats went over to the Republicans with the 
charges that the policies advocated by Bryan and in some measure 
put through by Wilson constituted a desertion of the party's prin- 
ciples and that the "real" Democracy of Cleveland and Jefferson 
was no more.-^ And when, in the 1930s, the New Deal became a 
reality, leading members of the Republican party solemnly met in 
conclave and cautioned Franklin Delano Roosevelt to "stop ignor- 
ing the principles of Thomas Jefferson."^ In fact, as late as the 
1952 National Convention of the Republican party the keynote 

1 H, S. Merrill, Bourbon Democracy of the Middle West, 1865-1896, 
Baton Rouge, 1953, 273-274. 

2 Charles A. Beard, Jefferson, Corporations, and the Constitution, 
National Home Library Foundation, Washington, D. C, 1936, 35. 



Speaker, obviously aware of the honorific value of the term, spent 
some time trying to convince his audience that his and not the oppo- 
sition's party was the true liberal party because it stood for the 
"essence" of liberalism, an antipathy to big government.'' 

Such an argument, of course, resolves itself ultimately into the 
question of the State in American society. Should it be positive 
as the liberals of today insist.'' Or should it be basically negative as 
the conservatives and/or the critics of "false" liberalism contend.'' 

That it will be difficult to arrive at a simple answer to these 
questions will be readily admitted. But let us for the moment add 
yet another question to our list, a question that will be perhaps even 
more difficult to answer. Is it not just possible that neither side is 
correct in the above argument, that neither side is properly in the 
liberal tradition for the simple reason that it is a relative one and 
that the closest we can come to a definition of it is that recent pro- 
nouncement which weakly says that at best it "has been a series of 
departures from the past, led by men who represented the trends 
of their eras" .'** Can we, in short, trace a real liberal tradition in 
this country and thus answer the above argument regarding who is 
today following that tradition.^ Or must we concede that today the 
term is meaningless .'' 

Again we are confronted with a question that has, perhaps, no 
simple answer. But in all this darkness there is one ray of light. 
And that is the fact that with all the debating that has been going 
on between the various proponents of this or that liberalism in the 
last sixty years, one thing is true: both sides agree that the prototype 
of all American liberals was Thomas Jefferson and that it will be 
adherence to or deviation from his principles that will most surely 
mark one as a true believer or heretic of the American liberal faith. 
With this, then, as perhaps the only starting point of agreement be- 
tween our two opposing camps, it should be possible to answer the 

3 General Douglas MacArthur at Chicago. For the full text of this 
speech see U. S. News & World Report, July 18, 1952, 88-92. These same 
sentiments can be found currently in such periodicals as The Freeman 
and such weekly newsletters as Hiirnan Events. The latter in its February 
2, 1957, issue evidences this theory very well when it prints with obvious 
approval excerpts from a letter from former Senator Joseph H. Ball 
(Minnesota) who says in part: "Human Events does a first-class job of 
reflecting the conservative viewpoint on national affairs which coincides 
in most respects with the classical 'liberal' viewpoint. The great majority 
of our press today has swallowed without question the pseudo-'liberal' 
philosophy which dominates our national politics, and which unfortunately 
has far more in common with totalitarianism than with individual liberty." 
See Human Events, Vol. XIV, No. 5. 

4 J. C. Long, Tlie Liberal Presidents, New York, 1948, 7. 


above questions by examining once again the principles and actions 
of Jefferson in the attempt to determine who is and who is not in 
his tradition and whether adherence to his principles (if any such 
adherence exists) can justify our declaring that there has been and 
is a consistent American liberal tradition which is operative today. 


If Thomas Jefferson is to be the norm for discovering who is 
today in or out of the American liberal tradition, it would seem, 
on the surface at least, that the critics of the so-called "false" liberal- 
ism seem to have the better of the argument. For any decently 
equipped schoolboy knows, or has been told, that Jefferson stood 
for states' rights, for strict construction of the Constitution, and, 
above all, for laissez faire. These are certainly today the property 
of the conservatives and not the so-called liberals. Moreover, it 
would be intellectual suicide to deny that Jefferson is the great 
American individualist par excellence. And individualism, especially 
of the "rugged" variety, can hardly be said to have been the rallying 
cry of the liberals of the past sixty years. 

On the other hand, how can the followers of Bryan, Wilson, 
and Roosevelt be censured for themselves claiming to have been 
in the straight and narrow tradition of Jefferson when, to cite just 
one of his standard biographers, Charles M. Wiltse, can, after an 
exhaustive study of that liberal's thought and actions, conclude that 
"his [Jefferson's] most characteristic position was nearer to social 
utilitarianism than to the individualism with which his name is 
most apt to be associated".''^ In the light of this analysis, surely 
the advocates of the policies of Populism, the New Freedom, and 
the New Deal can hardly be blamed for claiming the mantle of 
the great man for themselves. 

The key to this riddle, it would seem, lies in the fact that Jef- 
ferson was indeed an individualist — but that there is individualism 
and individualism. It will only be after critically separating the vari- 
ous theories of individualism and the State extant in the eighteenth 
century that we will be able to arrive at a correct analysis of Jeffer- 
son and the nature of his individualism. 

Now the touchstone of individualism in the United States has 
been consistently an advocacy of natural rights. It should never 

5 Charles M. Wiltse, The Jeffersonian Tradition in American Democ- 
racy, Chapel Hill, 1935, 177. 


be forgotten that the emphasis upon natural rights rather than the 
natural law came into being in the seventeenth and eighteenth cen- 
turies precisely at the time the middle classes were coming into 
their own with a vengeance, were replacing a corporate society with 
an individualistic one, and were consequently putting emphasis 
upon rights of man as man rather than rights by status.^ 

Moreover, by emphasizing "rights" rather than law, the entre- 
preneurs were setting up an antagonism between man and the State 
which not only had not existed in such sharp focus before, but 
which, because the entrepreneurs demanded as much freedom of 
movement and possession as possible, relegated government to the 
position of being at best a negative entity, the sole purpose of which 
was to protect the rights of man, property especially. Indeed, it 
has been remarked that for John Locke, whose formula of natural 
rights became the classic in England and America, the treatment he 
gives to government and law is actually incidental to his treatment 
of the natural right of property.^ And this is so, not only because 
his most famous work was avowedly a justification of the triumph 
of the landed gentry in 1688, but also because Locke breaks radically 
with the whole common good concept of the medieval period and 
concentrates on the individual good. 

According to Locke, man, although having social qualities, is 
not basically a social and political animal in the Aristotelian-Thomis- 

6 John H. Hallowell, Main Currents in Modern Political Thought, New 
York, 1950, 97: "Throughout the Middle Ages the reign of law was di- 
rected primarily to the preservation of the status quo but with the seven- 
teenth century the end of law was conceived more and more in terms of 
enabling individuals to do things and possess things. . . . Although there 
was some idea of rights peculiar to corporations and groups in the Middle 
Ages, the idea of natural rights peculiar to individuals first emerged as a 
definite concept in the seventeenth century and Grotius was one of the 
first to define them. These rights which are recognized by natural law 
and demonstrable by reason belong to individuals by vii-tue of their 
humanity — they are qualities inherent in persons and since they belong to 
an individual because of his nature as a human being they are called 
'natural rights'." See also J. Salwyn Shapiro, Liberalism and the Chal- 
lenge of Fascism, New York, 1949, 9-10; Harold J. Laski, The Rise of 
Liberalism: The Philosophy of a Business Civilization, New York, 1936. 

7 Paschal Larkin, Property in the Eighteenth Century: With Special 
Reference to Englayid and Locke, London, 1930, 65: "His main object was 
to insist on the individuals' right to property as against the arbitrary 
interference of the State and probably that prevented him from recogniz- 
ing more explicitly than he does that private property is a social function 
as well as an individual right. He nowhere puts the responsibility which 
should accompany ownership on the same plane as the right to private 
property itself. He does not, like some previous writers, distinguish 
between the right to property in general and the right to specific pieces 
or forms of property. One might almost say that he tends to confuse 
the fact of private property with the right to private property." 


tic sense. He is an atom, living originally in a state of nature and 
possessed of certain natural rights, all of which are absolute and 
presocial and prepolitical in nature and origin. Government and 
society are artificial entities and the only reason men enter society 
and set up a government, insofar as Locke never explains adequately 
why man has to leave a state which is supposedly natural to him, 
is to make sure that these absolute presocial and prepolitical rights 
are more secure. Thus a government is created which can only 
protect, not curb, these rights. And this is especially true of property, 
the social consequences notwithstanding.^ 

In the light of this doctrine, it is rather easy to see why the 
natural rights, argument was, if the pun is pardoned, so natural 
for the individualists to rely upon. For this argument not only 
justified the overthrowing of the ancien regime to make way for 
the setting up of an individualistic society, but it had inherent in 
it from the premises by which it was formulated, a justification 
for unrestrained individualism as regards property within the society 
so set up.^ 

Now Jefferson was probably the most famous exponent of 
natural rights in this country. Moreover, Jefferson was at one 
with the middle classes in their advocacy of natural rights for the 
purpose of setting up and making secure an individualistic society 
in place of the ancien regime. In this respect, all Americans, pre- 
cisely because they were Americans, were in agreement. For as 
early as the middle of the eighteenth century, if not before, America 
was definitely showing signs of having thrown off any of the half- 
hearted attempts to make it feudalistic and was evolving into what 
it has remained, a country with a middle class, individualistic society. 

Yet it is one thing to say that because Jefferson stood for 
natural rights, he stood for an individualistic society. This is quite 
true; but it is quite another thing to say that because he stood for 
natural rights he stood for unrestrained individualism within the 
context of that type of society. This is quite false. 

8 Ihid., 78-79 : "He never includes in a description of the contract any 
limitation to the defense of property. . . . The net result, however, of his 
vacillating attitude was that a theory of property rights based on the 
legal status quo of his day tended to be substituted for one which traced 
the justification of property to its origins in human needs and human 
labor. In other words, the State's sanction could be regarded as a suf- 
ficient justification of large fortunes no matter by what means acquired." 

9 Robert G. McCloskey, American Conservatism in the Age of Enter- 
prise, Harvard Political Studies, Cambridge, 1951, 6: "But whatever his 
intentions may have been, Locke's expression of it was ambiguous; and 
the practical effect of his thought was undoubtedly to justify not only the 
Glorious Revolution, but Western Capitalism." 


For the unrestrained individualism which has been a feature 
of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in both England and 
America has come primarily from the Lockean natural rights con- 
cept of property as an absolute natural presocial and prepolitical 
right. -^"^ It is this concept which relegated government to the sole 
and negative role of seeing that property rights were protected and 
morally beyond the reach of popular majorities. 

Yet this is not, according to either Jefferson himself or his most 
prominent biographers and commentators, Jefferson's concept of 
property or, consequently, of the role of the state regrading property. 
According to Jefferson, property is a natural right. That is, Jeffer- 
son held 

. . . that a right to property is founded in our natural wants, in the means 
with which we are endowed to satisfy these wants, and the right to what 
we acquire by those means without violating the similar rights of other 
sensible beings. ii 

However, for Jefferson, this right to property is not, as for 
Locke, a prepolitical right, a right anterior to society. It is a civil 
right, a right flowing from society. For in looking at Jefferson's 
view of natural rights and their division it is found that: 

Of the first kind are the rights of thinking, speaking, forming and giving 
opinions, and perhaps all those which can be fully exercised by the indi- 
vidual without the aid of exterior assistance — or in other words, rights of 
personal competency. Of the second kind are those of personal protection 
of acquiring and possessing property, in the exercise of which the individual 
natural power is less than the natural right, i- 

10 Ibid., 9; "For American philistines from 1776 onward and with 
increasing consistency 'hberty' was translated as the freedom to engage 
in economic enterprise, while the more basic and humane significance of 
the tenn was gradually submerged. And by 1876, when Field invoked the 
Declaration of Independence in his defense of property rights, democratic 
credo was no longer recognizable; it had been like Hegel's dialectic, turned 
upside down." See also Merle Curti, "The Great Mr. Locke; America's 
Philosopher," Huntington Library Bulletin, No. 11, April, 1937; Ralph H. 
Gabriel, The Course of American Democratic TJwught, New York, 1940, 
chap, xviii; Chester M. Destler, "The Opposition of American Businessmen 
to Social Control During the 'Gilded Age'," Mississippi Valley Historical 
Review, XXXIX (March, 1953). 

11 Thomas Jefferson, Tlie Wi'itirigs of Thomas Jefferson, eds. A. A. 
Lipscomb and Albert E. Bergh, 20 vols., Washington, D. C, 1903, XIV, 487. 

12 This statement was originally attributed to Jefferson by Gilbert 
Chinard in his biography Thomas Jefferson, The Apostle of Americanism, 
Boston, 1929, 80-81, but it is now conceded that it was written by Thomas 
Paine after consultation with Jefferson. In any case, Jefferson in a letter 
to Monroe agreed that he "professed the same principles." W-ritings, VIII, 
207. For comments on this division of rights see Chinard, 79-8-5, 233; 
Wiltse, The Jeffersonian Tradition, 72-74, 136-144; and Dumas Malone, 
Jefferso7i and the Rights of Man, Boston, 1951, 225. 


Why is not property for Jefferson a presocial and prepolitical 
right in the same sense as for Locke? Simply because, strictly 
speaking, there are for Jefferson no presocial and prepolitical rights 
since man is basically a political and social animal.^'' As such, man 
has natural rights, rights which the government cannot touch, such 
as the personal and political rights of religion and of expression; 
but because man is by nature a political and social animal and be- 
cause by natural law the earth is given to all men, the right to and 
of this property is put in the category of a civil right since man 
requires the aid of society to help him acquire as well as secure 
his share to this right. As Koch sums this up: 

This distinction between natural and civil rights is basic in Jefferson's 
philosophy. Essential freedoms are personal and political. Inextricably 
connected with Jefferson's principle is his thesis that all men have a 
natural right to a share of the earth that with proper cultivation would take 
care of primary needs. This principle enables Jefferson to criticize specific 
laws of landed property, where these pervert natural rights, i'* 

Jefferson himself confirmed this interpretation of his views 
on property in 1813 when, speaking specifically on the property 
rights of inventors, but broadening his discussion to the general 
laws of property, he said: 

It has been pretended by some, (and in England especially,) that in- 
ventors have a natural and exclusive right to their inventions, and not 
merely for their own lives, but inheritable to their heirs. But while it is 
a moot question whether the origin of any kind of property is derived from 
nature at all, it would be singular to admit a natural and even hereditary 
right to inventors. It is agreed by those who have seriously considered 
the subject, that no individual has, of natural right, a separate property 
in an acre of land, for instance. By an universal law, indeed, whatever, 
whether fixed or movable, belongs to all men equally and in common, is 
the property for the moment of him who occupies it, but when he relinquishes 
the occupation, the property goes with it. Stable ownership is the gift of 
social law and is given late in the progress of society. is 

Now how does this analysis of Jefferson's concept of property 
affect our problem.'' What, in other words, does this tell us of 
Jefferson's views on the role of the state in an individualistic society .'* 

Jefferson himself best summied up the answers to this question 
in a letter to James Madison's cousin in 1785. As he said then: 

13 Adrienne Koch, The Philosophy of ThoTuas Jefferson (New York: 
Columbia University Press, 1943), p. 147; also Wiltse, op. cit., p. 65. 

14 Adrienne Koch, Jefferson and Madison: The Great Collaboration, 
New York, 1950, 64-65. 

15 Jefferson, Writings, VIII, 333. 


I am conscious that an equal division of property is impracticable, but the 
consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the 
bulk of mankind, legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing 
property, only taking care to let their subdivisions go hand in hand with the 
natural affections of the human mind. The descent of property of every 
kind, therefore, to all the children or to all the brothers and sisters or 
other relatives in equal degree is a politic measure and a practicable one. 
Another means of silently lessening the inequality of properly is to exempt 
all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of 
property in geometrical progression as they rise. Whenever there are in 
any country uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the 
laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right. The 
earth is given as a common stock for man to labor and live on. If for 
the encouragement of industry vv^e allow it to be appropriated, we must take 
care that other employment be provided for those excluded from the appro- 
priation. If we do not, the fundamental right to labor the earth returns to 
the unemployed. It is too soon yet in our country to say that every man 
who cannot find employment but can find uncultivated land shall be at 
liberty to cultivate it, paying a moderate rent. But it is not too soon to 
provide by every possible means that as few as possible shall be without a 
little portion of land. The small landholders are the most precious part 
of the state. 16 

Tlius for Jefferson, unlike Locke, the state in regard to property 
has a positive duty. It does not come into existence merely to protect 
rights, especially those of property. It also has the duty to see that 
the right to property is observed. In short, Locke emphasizes property 
rights and ends up with a negative state, boosting individualism. 
Jefferson emphasizes the right to property and ends up with a stage 
which is somewhat positive, curbing individualism. 

Nor is it surprising that Jeffersonian Democracy emerges em- 
bodying a concept of the State and the role of government which 
is not wholly negative. And why? Simply because Jefferson, un- 
like Locke, did not hold that man was a presocial and prepoliticai 
atom, living originally in a state of nature, but was basically a 
political and social animal. He and his colleagues may have taken 
Locke to heart for his "consent of the governed" and "right of revo- 
lution" theories, but, as recent scholarship has confirmed, John Locke 
was by no means the only author on natural law read by the colonists. 
In fact, it seems fair to conclude that, before the Revolution, most 
of the learned men of the colonies were ingrained with a theory of 
natural law which in certain respects had the essentials of the 
Aristotelian-Thomistic position and most certainly regarded man as 

16 Ihid., XIX, 17-18. My italics. 


essentially a social and political animal, subject to natural law as 
well as natural right. -^^ 

In the light of this, it is then not surprising that Jefferson's con- 
cept of the state should be somewhat along the lines of a positive 
one. For the real break in the political tradition of the West came, 
as we have seen, as a result of the individualistic emphasis upon 
natural right rather than natural law. Yet Jeffersonian theory, 
though couched occasionally in terms of natural rights is, upon 
close examination, actually much closer to natural-law than natural- 
right concepts. -^^ Indeed it might almost be said that Jefferson 
merely transfers the natural law of the medieval period into the 
period of an individualistic society and couches it in the languages 
of the latter! Certainly this is true as regards his key doctrine of 
property. For as Koch sums that up: 

The first application of the principle established that specific propert)' rights 
are civil and not natural rights. The earth is made for the use of the living 
by natural law, but specific lands are owned by the living only in virtue 
of the laws of society. The portion of the earth occupied by any man 
ceases to be with his death and reverts to society. i^ 

And St. Thomas Aquinas says this: 

The common possession of things is to be attributed to natural law, not in 
the sense that natural law decrees that all things are to be held in common 
and that there is to be no private possession, but in the sense that there 
is no distinction of property on grounds of natural law but only by human 
agreement; and this pertains to positive law as we have already shown. 
Thus private property is not opposed to natural law, but is an addition to 
it devised by the human reason. ^o 

Moreover, Jeffersonian theory exhibits no inflexibility as regards 
natural rights. Jefferson himself insisted that "man can have no 
rights in opposition to his social duties," that is, to the common 

17 See for instance, Ray Forrest Harvey, Jean Jacques Burlamaqui: 
A Liberal Tradition in American Constitutionalism, Chapel Hill, 1937, chaps, 
iv, V. Also B. F. Wright, American Interpretations of Natural Law Cam- 
bridge, 1931 ; May G. O'Donnell, James Wilson and the Natural Law Basis 
of Positive Laiv, New York, 1937. For Wilson's arguments that property 
was not the sole object of government see Max Farrand (ed.), The Records 
of the Federal Convention of 1787, rev. ed., New Haven, 1937, I, 605-606. 

18 Koch remarks that Jefferson speaks rarely of social contract but 
does speak often of natural law; Koch, The Philosophy of Thomas Jeffer- 
son, 110. 

19 Ibid., 64. 

20 A. p. D'Entreves (ed), Aquinas: Selected Political Writings, Oxford, 
1948, 169. 


good."^ And whenever circumstances demand it, natural law — in 
true medieval fashion — takes precedence over individual rights for 
the common good. Koch thus summarizes the precedence: 

Whenever the interpretation of natural law weighs heavily on the side of 
justice, the cleavage between a theory of natural law and natural right dis- 
appears. It is for this reason that Jefferson is able to maintain that he is 
"convinced that man has no natural rights in opposition to his social duties." 
The law of nature and nations is thus part of moral philosophy, just as the 
theory of rights is, only not so fully. 2 2 

Still this tendency of Jefferson (and the people who supported 
him) to lean toward natural law and the curbing of individualism 
rather than to natural rights and the boosting of individualism does 
not mean that Jefferson and his colleagues believed in a completely 
positive or paternalistic state. Indeed, just the opposite is true. 
For as staunch members and advocates of an individualistic society 
and its political counterpart — republican government — their key doc- 
trine revolved about the requisite of as broad a distribution of private 
property as possible, not only because the dignity of man demands 
it and because he has a natural right to it, but because a wide dis- 
tribution of property was necessary to divide wealth and thus power, 
ensuring as a consequence the maintenance of republican govern- 
ment."^ Jefferson and his colleagues were certainly realists who 
saw that political democracy could endure only as long as it was 
built on a sound base of economic democracy."^ It was no doubt 

21 Wiltse, The Jeffersonian Tradition, 111: "Jefferson saw nothing 
incongrous, however, in asserting that men have no rights in opposition 
to their social duties, a point which he makes in one form or another so 
frequently that it cannot be discounted as a passing whim." 

22 Koch, The Philosophy of Tho7nas Jefferson, 146. 

23 That the pre-Civil War Jeffersonian and Jacksonian liberals were 
quite conscious of the economic basis of republicanism and were not — as is 
sometimes held — interested only in political liberalism is now becoming 
more and more to be accepted. See, for instance, Charles A. Beard, 
Economic Origins of Jeffersonian Democracy, New York, 1915; Arthur M. 
Schlesinger, Jr., The Age of Jackson, Boston, 1945. For the thesis of James 
Harrington that "power follows wealth" and that the complexion of gov- 
ernment in any state will be detennined by the distribution of its wealth, 
see H. F. Russell-Smith, Harrington and His Oceana, Cambridge, 1914. 
For Harrington's influence on the Jeffersonians see Eugene T. Mudge, 
The Social Philosophy of John Taylor of Caroline, New York, 1939, 95, 166, 
275; Louis Hartz, "American Political Thought and the American Revolu- 
tion," A7nerican Political Science Review, XLVI (June, 1952), 341-342. The 
thesis that Jefferson's predilection for the small fanner stemmed from 
an idealistic physiocratic doctrine rather than a more realistic attach- 
ment for them as small property holders has been seriously challenged in 
Richard Hofstadter, "Parrington and the Jeffersonian Tradition," Journal 
of the History of Ideas, II (1941), 391-400. 

24 See Eugene P. Link, Democratic-Republican Societies, 1790-1800, 
New York, 1942, 119; also Koch, The Philosophy of Thomas Jefferson, 175. 


deas such as these which prompted a later Jeffersonian Democrat, 
5enator Andrew Johnson of Tennessee, to appraise and advocate as 
:he "true policy" of the party not the superficial principles of 
'states' rights" or "local self-government" but policy having for 
its end: 

. to build up the middle class ; to sustain the villages, to populate the 
rural districts, and to let the power of the government remain with the 
middle class ! I want no miserable city rabble on the one hand. I want no 
tampered, bloated, corrupted aristocracy on the other. 25 


On the one hand, therefore, Jeffersonian Democracy stands for 
positive government and on the other for as much individualism as 
possible,"^ not a regulated individualism, but an individualism de- 
signed precisely to make people as independent as possible. 

What we see, therefore, emerging from this analysis of Jefferson 
is neither a completely positive state nor a completely negative one, 
3ut what the writer — for want of a better term — has chosen to call 
the positive-negative state. And what is the positive-negative state .-^ 
It is a state which believes in as much individualism as possible and 
is, in this sense, basically negative. More, it is a state which feels 
also that it has the duty to step in and curb individualism when 
that individualism threatens to destroy all individualism and thus 
republicanism. In this latter sense, therefore, it is qualifiedly posi- 
tive.^^ Or, to put it more concretely, it is a state which on the key doc- 
trine of private property wants as much private ownership as possible, 
for this is the means to stable republican government, but also a 
state whose function and duty is, both from humanitarian and 
realistic political urgings, to curb unrestrained concentrations of 
property which threaten republicanism. It is, therefore, a state 
which strives to be as negative as possible and only positive in its 
efforts to restore conditions v>'hich will allov/ it to resume this basic 

If in this sense it is necessary to characterize Jefferson's idea 
of the state as laissez faire, well and good. For who, after all, does 
not want as little government as possible? But this is a far cry from 

"5 Quoted in Charles A. and Mary R. Beard, The Rise of American 
Civilization, New York, 1927, I, 676-677. 

26 Wiltse, The Jeffersonian Tradition, 214. 

27 Ibid., 70-71. 


the Lockean theory of property rights, the state, and individuaHsm 
which the conservatives (erroneously invoking Jefferson's name) 
have clung to from the days of Hamilton. ^^ As was said before, 
there is individualism and individualism. 

In the light, then, of all of the above— using Jefferson as the 
norm, it is a little difficult to see hov/ the conservatives of later 
days can legitimately describe the policies of Populism, the New 
Freedom, or the New Deal, all of which are now seemingly accepted 
by the controlling groups of both major parties, as policies of 
"false" liberalism advocated by "pseudo" liberals. Indeed, just the 
opposite seems to be true. For it has been these policies which, in 
an increasingly industrial America, have made it possible to avoid, 
in the words of Andrew Johnson, "a miserable city rabble" on the 
one hand and a "bloated, corrupted aristocracy" on the other. 
Moreover, we might add, that today they seem to have helped to 
avoid Communism, which feeds on imbalanced societies. 

In doing this such policies have been in the best tradition of 
real, Jeffersonian liberalism. For as Wilson himself said in 1912: 

You know that one of the interesting things that Mr. Jefferson said in 
those early days of simplicity which marked the beginnings of our gov- 
ernment was that the best government consisted in as little governing as 
possible. And there is still a sense in which that is true. It is still intolerable 
for the government to interfere with our individual activities except where 
it is necessary to interfere luith them in order to free them. But I feel con- 
fident that if Jefferson were living in our day he would see what we see: 
that the individual is caught in a great confused nexus of all sorts of com- 
plicated circumstances, and that to let him alone is to leave him helpless 
as against the obstacles with which he has to contend; and that, therefore, 
law in our day must come to the assistance of the individual. It must come 
to his assistance to see that he gets fair play; that is all, but that is much. 29 

John J. Whealen 
Xavier University 

-8 See Curti, "The Great Mr. Locke," 151 ff ; Wright, American Inter- 
pretations of Natural Law, 175; and Francis G. Wilson, The American 
Political Mind, New York, 1949, 119. 

29 Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom, New York, 1913, 283-284. My 

Towns of the Alabama Black Belt 

The Black Belt of Alabama, as described officially by J. D. 
Pope and socially in other articles of this series, is the strip of 
prairie soil twenty-five miles and less in width that curves from 
the eastern part of the state through the western state line into 
Mississippi.-^ It is bordered on the north and south by the towns 
of Montgomery, Selma, Linden, Marion, Greensboro, Eutaw, Liv- 
ingston, Camden, and Union Springs. The characteristic black soil 
is formed by the mixture of the soft limestone base rock with the 
humus of the surface in the counties of Sumter, Greene, Hale, 
Perry, Marengo, Dallas, Wilcox, Lowndes, Montgomery, and 
Bullock, but for purposes of this study the periphery of sandy, 
hillside, non-prairie lands is included. Black Belters like to think 
that the culture in the vicinity of the prairie is superior to that in 
the sandy lands due to the background of plantation "wealth and 
culture" which presumably existed there prior to the Civil War. 
Although Negroes far out-number the white people in the Black 
Belt, their preponderance does not constitute a basis for definition, 
since there are other sections of Alabama that also have heavy 
Negro population. The climate of the Black Belt is hot and the 
summers are long. 

Although it was not invaded until late in the Civil War, the 
Federal armies that appeared there in 1865 and the general war- 
time drain upon its resources left the region in somewhat the same 
condition as other sections of the South. Consequently, the results 
of the war, the burdens of Reconstruction, and the effects of the 
depression of 1873 left much recovering to be done there at the 
time our study opens in 1875. 

Black Belt communities ranged in size from small rural villages 
to the city of Montgomery, which in 1870 had a population of 
10,588, a third that of Mobile." In 1870 and 1880 the only towns of 

1 J. D. Pope, "Types of Farming Areas," in Alabama State Depart- 
ment of Agriculture and Industries, Agriculture in Alabama, Montgomery, 
1930, 53 ff. See also Glenn N. Sisk, "Social Aspects of the Alabama Black 
Belt, 1875-1917," Mid-America, XXXVII (January, 1955), 31-47, and 
"Town Business in the Alabama Black Belt, 1875-1917," Mid-America, 
XXXVIII (January, 1956), 47-56. 

2 Montgomery's population increased as follows: 1890: 21,883; 1900: 
30,346; 1910: 38,136; 1920: 43,464; Alabama State Department of Archives 
and History, Alabama Official and Statistical Register, 1903, Montgomery, 
Alabama, 1903, 190-192, 303; Ibid., 1923, 298 ff. 



over 2,000 population were Montgomery, Selma, and Marion. 
Montgomery in 1880 had 16,713; Selma 7,529; and Marion 2,074. 
By census standards for urban population of 2,500 or more, only 
7.3 per cent of Black Belt population could be so classed in 1880.^ 
This percentage had risen to 19.1 by 1920, while that of the state 
was 21.7.* The small villages usually had a few hundred people 
or less, the county seat towns a few hundred to about two thousand. 
Selma reached 15,589, and Union Springs 4,125 in 1920. Demopolis 
was the largest non-county seat town with 2,779 in 1920.^ 

Of the larger towns there were two general types — the older 
ones which existed because they were trading centers for the sur- 
rounding plantation areas or because they were county seats, and 
the newer tov/ns which because of some small industry or agricultural 
enterprise and the energy of their people were gaining population 
and a little prosperity. The latter type was likely to be found in 
the areas predominantly inhabited by white people rather than in 
the prairies. Towns like York, Moundville, Fort Deposit, and 
Akron were of the New South; they manifested an enterprise not 
characteristic of the older, more aristocratic communities of the 
prairie section. Livingston, Eutaw, Greensboro, Marion, Uniontown, 
Union Springs, Camden, Hayneville, Selma, and Montgomery were 
old Black Belt towns which prided themselves on their pasts and 
felt their superiority to the upstart communities of the sandy lands. 
This attitude persisted in Union Springs in spite of the fact that it 
acquired some industry. 

Besides their function as rural trade centers and county seats. 
Black Belt towns had as one of their functions the furnishing of 
professional services to the townspeople and the farmers of sur- 
rounding areas. Lawyers, doctors, dentists, teachers, and ministers 
constituted the professional men and women of the average Black 
Belt town. Most of these groups are discussed elsewhere. 

For fifteen or twenty years after the close of the Civil War 
enterprise and progress were scarce in the towns of the Black Belt. 
It was not until 1884, for instance, that there was a semblance 
of building of new stores or residences in Greensboro. "The sound 

3 Statistics of the Population of the United States at the Tenth Censiis, 
1880, Washington, D. C, 1883, 49 ff., cited hereafter as Tenth Census, 1880. 

4 Fourteenth Census of the Lhiited States, 1920, Washington, D. C, 
1921, vol. I, Population, 1920, 150; cited hereafter as Fourteenth Census, 

5 Alabama Official and Statistical Register, 1903, 188 ff ; Ibid., 1923, 
298 ff. 


of the hammer and the saw had been unknown for nearly a quarter 
of a century."^ Following 1884 a few structures were erected, 
houses were painted, and the nineties saw the erection of new brick 
store buildings in place of wooden ones.' Camden and Mont- 
gomery reported real estate, building, and repairing activity in 
1880.^ The general demoralization in Black Belt towns was ob- 
servable in the lack of civic pride, the deterioration of streets and 
sidewalks, the disinclination to clean up garbage or trash, and the 
generally rundown condition of public facilities. By 1890, however, 
interest was manifested in new civic and business activities.^ 

Many small communities^*^ dotted the map and served an in- 
tegral purpose in the social and economic fabric of the countryside. 
Dozens of these places are listed in the Alabama Gazetteer and Busi- 
ness Directory of 1884-1885. Some were not listed in Young's 
Directory of 1910-1911, but most seemed to be holding up quite 
well at the latter date. According to the above-mentioned sources 
villages of less than a hundred to a few hundred had such businesses 
and services as general merchandise stores, druggists, blacksmiths, 
physicians, hotels, cotton gins, saw mills, grist mills, shoe-makers, 
justices of the peace, dentists, barbers, notaries public, schools, 
churches, butchers, lawyers, carpenters, undertakers, saloons, and 
livery stables. These communities were necessary to serve the local 
farm areas, and their contact with the outside world was measured 
by their nearness to a railroad station. Fortunate was the town 
which had the advantage of being a railroad station or even a 
river landing. It was these communities of a few hundred popula- 
tion that suffered or lost their reason for being when the boll 
weevil injured their economic base and good roads gave access by 
car to larger towns in the period after 1915. 

The county seat was usually a center of trade as well as of legal 
matters for the county. Typically the courthouse of brick or cement, 
was the most prominent building in town. It stood in the center 
of a square or on the main street, surrounded by stores and other 
business houses, with residence streets leading out from the business 

6 W. E. W. Yerby, History of Greensboro, Alabama, From Its Earliest 
Settlement, Montgomery, 1908, 119. 

7 Ibid., pp. 119, 121, 122; Alabama Beacon, October 26, 1886; Linden 
Reporter, December 12, 1890. 

8 Montgomery Daily Advertiser, January 6, September 16, 1880. 

9 Marion Standard, August 6, October 22, 1890, January 25, 1894. 

10 Like Tilden, Minter, Portland in Dallas County; Midway in Bullock; 
Pike Road, Pine Level, Mt. Meigs in Montgomery County; Havana, New- 
bern in Hale County; and Forkland in Greene County. 


center. In these towns lived the merchants, lawyers, doctors, and 
planters who served or owned much of the surrounding plantation 
area. On Saturdays and at holiday seasons the colored farmers 
and their families crowded into these towns to spend their meager 
advances and mingle with their fellows on the streets, which they 
monopolized on these special occasions. Court week brought to the 
county seats a varied group of participants in the activities of the 
court. Many of these spent the night at the hotels, since the journey 
from distant points in the county was frequently long and arduous. 
Life was informal, gay, and leisurely for both whites and Negroes. 
The drug stores, courthouses, and other public places served as 
meeting points and social gathering centers for young and old, 
male and female, white and colored. 

The types of homes ranged from the cabins of the Negroes 
through the modest one-story cottages typical of the small towns, 
to the large two-story homes, often in the colonial ante-bellum style 
with imposing "gallery" and white columns. The Black Belt fol- 
lowed the rest of the country in the late nineteenth century for 
"gingerbread" or American Gothic architecture. The homes built 
in this style were adorned with lattice-like banisters on the porches 
and stained glass windows; a cupola on one corner of the house 
gave a castle-like effect. ^-^ 

In the early part of the period 1875-1917, each family in the 
small communities drew water from a private well in the back yard, 
and every man was certain he owned the best well in town.^" Some 
were shallow and seepy, some were deep and pure. The v/ell bucket 
tended to give way to pumps. ^'^ Artesian mineral wells were found 
at many points, among them Selma, Montgomery, and Livingston. 
These waters, containing iron, sulphur, magnesia, and common salt, 
gained a reputation as curative agents for dyspepsia and other 
stomach disorders. ^^ However, public utilities were improved when 
Montgomery acquired water works in 1873,^^ Selma in 1886,^^ and 
Marion, Demopolis, Union Springs, Eutaw, and Greensboro during 

11 Citizens' Union, Selma, Alabama, Selma, Alabama and Its Attrac- 
tive Features, 188i, n.p., 1884, 6; cited hei'eafter as Selma, Alabama. 

12 W. H. Lovelace, "History of Marion," in Marion Times-Standard, 
October 30, 1919. 

13 C. C. Grayson, Yesterday, Memories of Selma and Its People, n.p., 
n.d., 108. 

11 Selma, Alabama, 5, 6; H. G. McCall, A Sketch Historical and Sta- 
tistical of the City of Montgomery, 1895, 21, 22. 

15 Ibid., 21, 22. 

16 Montgomery Advertiser, September 27, 1886; Grayson, Yeste7rlay, 
Selma, 72, 73. 


the nineties. ■'•^ Artesian wells and stand-pipes were the usual source 
of water for these systems. 

Kerosene lamps lighted most of the homes and the town streets 
until the coming of electricity, though candles were in use by many 
people as late as 1885.-^^ One of the first duties of a housewife 
was to see that the lamps were filled, the wicks trimmed and ready 
for the night. ^^ 

Montgomery had gas for street lighting much earlier than the 
other towns of the section. The Montgomery Gas Light Company 
was established in 1852, and manufactured gas from coal until 
I860. The Civil War caused a change from coal to wood process, 
and wood gas continued until 1876, when the works were changed 
Dack to coal as the coal fields of Alabama developed."*^ In the 
evenings the city lamplighter, mounted on horseback, lighted the 
gas jets on the streets."^ Selma had gas street lights in the seventies, 
Dut even so, the streets were "very dark, only an occasional gas 
lamp threw its dim light on the wayfarer. Hogs, horses, cows, etc., 
were allowed to roam at will, and the hazards of night walking 
were great.""" Union Springs had only three street lamps in 1879."^ 
Marion complained of the inefficiency of its street lamp lighter in 
1885, and considered his services unnecessary on moonlight nights."'^ 
Judson College installed gas and water fixtures in 1887. Selma vv'as 
^leased in 1893 with the "elegant cooking stoves" with "six different 
places to light the gas" and "jets for heating water for a bath 
room.""^ Greensboro had no street lamps until 1883. An electric 
ight plant was started in 1899, and then the kerosene lamps were 
replaced by arc lights."^ 

Electric lights were a matter of curiosity in the smaller towns 
in the middle eighties. A notice appearing in the Eutaw Whig and 

17 Marion Standard, January 25, 1894; Linden Reporter, November 15, 
1895; Union Springs Herald, January 22, 1896, May 13, 1896; Ordinances 
of the Town of Eutaw, Alabama, March, 1897, 99; Yerby, History of 
Greensboro, 125. 

18 C. C. Grayson, "Early Days in Selma" in Selma Times- Journal, 
May 4, 1946; Historic Records Survey, Work Projects Administration, Hale 
County, Alabama (State Department of Archives) ; Marion True Democrat, 
September 26, 1883; Marengo Neivs- Journal, November 20, 1882; Yerby, 
History of Greensboro, 127, 128. 

19 Grayson, Yesterday, Selma, 109. 

20 McCall, A Sketch of Montgomery, 23. 

21 City Code of Montgomery (1879), 82, 

22 Grayson, Yesterday, Selma, 27. 

23 Union Springs Herald, March 24, 1879. 

24 Marion Standard, August 19, 1885, 

25 Selma Weekly Times, June 8, 1893. 

26 Yerby, History of Greensboro, 127-128. 


Observer, June 26, 1884, insisted: "Be sure to see the Electric light 
at Alexina House." Selma's electric light plant began operation 
August 3, 1886, after a long struggle with the gas company. ""^ 
Electric lights came to Montgomery in 1882."^ Hydro-electric power 
using the Tallapoosa River was installed at Montgomery in 1896.^^ 
Eutaw, Greensboro, and Demopolis acquired electric light systems 
during the nineties.^'' Marion, in 1902, had electric arc lights 
operated on the moon system, by which the city lights would run all 
night during the dark nights and on moonlight nights from sundown 
until the moon was two hours high.^^ 

In later years of the period the attainment of all night electric 
service and finally day current were matters of pride to the towns. 
The Greensboro Water and Light Company installed all night 
electric service on July 1, 1912.^" From the time of the World 
War the Alabama Power Company, the Alabama Water Company, 
and other large operating companies began to buy the properties 
of the local companies. Under the management of these corpora- 
tions electric service was improved and lines were extended to hith- 
erto unwired areas.^^ 

Joseph A. Gaboury, an engineer and capitalist, came to Mont- 
gomery, in 1884, and began the operation of mule drawn cars.^^ "On 
the night of March 24-25, 1886, a street car was seen coming up 
Commerce Street without any of the little Texas mules that usually 
strove so valiantly with the heavy loads." Gaboury had invested in 
some of the electric motors advanced by Charles J. Van Depeole, 
and secured the rights from the Montgomery City Council to make 
a trial run.^^ The "Lightning Route," as the street railway was 
known, was considered a success, and by June, 1887, fifteen miles 

27 Historic Records Survey, WPA, Dallas County (State Department 
of Archives) ; Montgomery Daily Advertiser, September 27, 1886. 

28 McCall, A Sketch of Montgomery, 23. 

29 Alabama Power Company, Power Development in Alabama (n.p. : 
n.d.) ; State Abstract Company, Pocket Map of the City of Montgomery, 
1899 (State Department of Archives) ; Montgomery Advertiser, September 
25, 1902. 

30 Alabama Beacon, Gi'eensboro, August 4, 1897; Demopolis Express, 
February 3, 24, 1898. 

31 M. R. Darden, "The History of Marion, Alabama, 1817-1940," 
(unpublished M. A. thesis, Alabama Polytechnic Institute: 1941), 76, cited 
hereafter as "History of Marion." 

32 Greensboro Watchman, June 13, 1912. 

33 Ordinances of the Town of Greensboro, Alabama, 1922; Greensboro 
Watchman, June 8, 1922; Darden, "History of Marion," 76. 

34 Alabama Power Company, The Lightning Route, Montgomery, Ala- 
bama, 1936. 

35 Ibid.; Montgomery Advertiser, September 27, 1886. 


of line was electrified. Numerous companies developed until, in 
1906, the hodge-podge of systems was consolidated into a single 
corporation known as the Montgomery Traction Company.''^ 

Selma was operating horse drawn street cars as early as 1872.^^ 
In 1888 she discarded her horse cars entirely in favor of a dummy 
engine which pulled the cars.'''^ Union Springs had a street car 
line in 1887, and there was talk of such a line in York in 1889.^^ 

The fire companies of the cities and the towns were composed 
of volunteers. Montgomery adopted a system of paid firemen in 
1898*° and Selma in 1907, '^■^ but until that time fighting fires was 
the task of amateurs, as it continued to be in the smaller towns."*- 

The fire companies were colorful organizations, much given to 
fanfare, and greatly admired by the citizens of their respective 
towns. They wore bright uniforms and had frequent parades.*'' The 
Phoenix Company of Selma had a monthly "washing," when the 
members "a hundred strong" would put on their regular regalia — 
red flannel shirts, black belts, black and red helmets. After a short 
parade they would stop at the cistern, lower the suction hose into 
it, attach the hose to the engine, and send two streams of water 
on top of the hotel building.** In Montgomery there were several 
fire companies, all of them vying with each other at quarterly in- 
spection time in Court Square, so that these occasions in the center 
of the business district usually ended in water battles. The annual 
spring parades of the Montgomery Fire Department were as spec- 
tacular as a Mardi Gras parade.*^ 

The smaller towns imitated the pomp of the Selma and Mont- 
gomery companies. Soon after Union Springs organized a volun- 
teer company in 1868, a parade was held. According to the Union 

36 The Alabama Power Company acquired all street railway property 
in Montgomery in 1923. In 193fi the company discontinued the electric 
street cars in favor of modem gasoline busses. Alabama Power Company, 
The Lightning Route. 

37 "Early Days in Selma," in Selma Times- Journal, May 4, 1946. 

38 B. F. Riley, Alabama As It Is, or The Immigrant's and Capitalist's 
Guide Book to Alahayna, Montgomery, 1887, 1893, 161; Mobile and Ohio 
Railroad, The Great South, St. Louis and Mobile, 1888. 

39 Union Springs Herald, July 27, 1887; York News, December, 19, 1889. 

40 Annual Message . . . John H. Clishy, Mayor of Montgomery . . . 
1898, 45. 

41 Grayson, Yesterday, Selma, 137. 

42 Alabama Beacon, Greensboro, February 2, 1873; Ordinances of the 
Town of Eutaw, Alabama, May 12, 1898, 121. 

43 Grayson, Yesterday, Selma, 135; Minutes of the Dexter Fire Engine 
Company, Montgomery, Alabama, June 11, 1888-March 2, 1891 (State 
Department of Archives) : Union Springs Times, June 6, 1868. 

44 Grayson, Yesterday, Selma, 135. 

45 T. L. McDaniel, History of Montgomery Fire Departrnent, 1817-1926, 
n.p., 1926, 36. 


Spring Th?ies of June 6, speeches were made, the engine was 
wreathed in flowers and festoons of evergreen, and "in order to 
show the ability of the company to manage the engine, at the order 
of . . . 'double quick' the boys made it rattle along as if it had wings." 

The fire companies were organized as clubs and were actually 
social organizations. The young men of the "better families" be- 
longed, and it was not unusual to "blackball" undesirable candi- 
dates."*^ Each company had its own hall, where dances and other 
amusements were held."*"^ Picnics, excursions to distant cities, and 
tournaments were among their social activities.'*^ 

The fire fighting equipment included horse drawn steam engines, 
hooks, ladders, jams, buckets, hose, and reel. The Montgomery Fire 
Department had in 1885 an active and honorary membership of 357. 
They operated three steam engines and one hand engine, one hook 
and ladder truck, and four two-horse carriages. A fire alarm system 
was in operation. Financial support came from the city government, 
from a tax on insurance companies, and from contributions of the 
members."*^ Greensboro, Demopolis, Eutaw, and Marion had fire 
equipment and organizations during the eighties and nineties.^ '^ 

Telegraph lines came to the Black Belt before the Civil War. 
The line of the Washington City and New Orleans Telegraph Com- 
pany was run from Mobile to Cahaba, thence to Montgomery, in 
1853. An office was opened in Selma in October, 1853.^"* Lines 
were extended sometimes by the enterprise of local townsmen dur- 
ing the seventies and eighties, as for example, the citizens of 
Greensboro who donated a thousand dollars in 1869 to induce the 
Western Union Telegraph Company to extend its line from Marion 
to their town.''" Even small communities along the river had their 

46 Minutes of the Dexter Fire Engine Company, June 11, 1888, 17. 

47 Grayson, Yesterday, Selma, 137; souvenirs of fire department func- 
tions (collection of Lucharlle Wilson, Montgomery, Alabama). 

48 T. L. McDaniel, History of Montgomery Fire Department, 1817- 
1926, 36-40; Minutes of the Dexter Fire Engine Company, June 11, 1888, 
19-20, April 8, 1889, 51, May 20, 1889, 54, January 5, 1891, 91. See 
entire volume covering June 11, 1888-March 2, 1891. 

4 9 John Hardy, Selma, Her Institutions and Her Men, 1879, 160, 
cited hereafter as Selma; Citizens' Union, Selma, Alabama, 22; McCall, 
A Sketch of Montgomery, 21. 

50 Yerby, Histoi-y of Greensboro, 130-131. Alabama Beacon, Greens- 
boro, February 8, 1873; Marengo Neivs-Journal, Demopolis, March 9, 1876; 
Demopolis Express, January 4, 1893; Eutaw Whig and Observer, March 
20, 1888, April 15, 1880; Ordinances of the Town of Eutaw, Alabama, 
May 12, 1898, 121; Marion Commomvealth, November 21, 1878; Marioyi 
Standard, January 25, 1883, December 26, 1888. 

51 Hardy, Selma, 160. 

52 Wilcox News and Pacificator, Camden, June 23, 1882; Yerby, His- 
tory of Greensboro, 196. 


Western Union telegraph lines, and Postal Telegraph was erecting 
its lines to small towns of the Black Belt by 1890.^^ 

The Montgomery Telephone Exchange was in operation by 
October, 1882.°^ In 1885 the city had a Bell Telephone Exchange 
with subscribers and a branch line twelve miles long to Prattville. 
A private telephone wire also connected Selma and Montgomery, and 
a line to Wetumpka was being built."'' 

The smaller towns were usually served in the nineties by small 
local companies.''^ The new Alabama Telephone Company was 
committed in 1894 to furnish Selma "perpetual service, night, day, 
and Sunday," while Greensboro acquired an exchange in 1896 after 
several citizens had already been operating their private lines from 
residences to store and office and from Greensboro to Tuscaloosa. ^'^ 
A telephone line was erected from the depot to a drug store in 
Marion in 1894, and the following year poles were erected through 
the city. ^^ 

Various efforts were made to increase the number of telephone 
subscribers in a town. In Selma and in Marion the names and num- 
bers of new subscribers were reported in the newspaper.^ ^ Union 
Springs in 1895 was striving to reach the goal of a hundred sub- 
scribers, and in Demopolis subscribers were charged extra for each 
neighbor who used their phones. ^° Marion's method of advertising 
had real charm. One evening the local string band "discoursed 
sweet music" near the telephone in Wilkerson's Drug Store, and 
it was heard over their telephones by the subscribers.^-^ 

Since it was important that isolated towns have telephone con- 
nection with telegraph lines at some point, long distance connections 
entered these villages before local connections did.^" In 1891 the 
Marengo and Perry Telephone Company had offices in Demopolis 
and in six neighboring small towns, while in 1898 the Demopolis 
Telephone Company had connections with twenty towns and ham- 

53 Livingston Journal, September 21, 1883, November 14, 1890, De- 
cember 5, 1890. 

54 Montgomery Advertiser and Mail, October 10, 1882. 

55 McCall, A Sketch of Montgomery, 23. 

56 Marengo News, Demopolis, April 9, 1891. 

57 Selma Morning Times, October 6, 1894; Alabama Beacon, April 
16, 1895, February 24, 1897. 

58 Marion Standard, March 14, 1895. 

59 Selma Morning Times, August 11, 1895; Marion Standard, Novem- 
ber 21, 1895. 

60 Union Springs Herald, April 29, 1896; Demopolis Express, Janu- 
ary 2, 1896. 

61 Marion Standard, March 14, 1895. 

62 Riley, Alabama As It Is, 152-159. 


lets.^^ By 1907 even a rural community like McCainviile in Sumter 
County was beginning to feel "real cityfied" because of the new 
telephone line from Livingston. ^^ The service, however, was not 
always satisfactory. Linden's telephone system, as late as 1912, was 
weakening subscribers' chances for heaven because it was sure to 
"make you swear."^^ 

The unusually miry condition of Black Belt streets led to an 
early effort to improve them. It was a matter of some pride if the 
streets of a town were in an improved condition. The Uniontown 
correspondent of the Marion Standard spoke in complimentary terms 
in 1883 of the streets of Demopolis: 

The side walks are in good repair and the streets are fully lighted with 
handsome lamps. This is quite a contrast to our town; the plank walks are 
covered wih mud and slime, they are so sleek it is almost impossible to 
keep on them in the day time and at night our streets are in total darkness, 
and we have to grope our way from place to place as best we can. . . .^6 

Marion paved her streets in 1892 with "artificial stone pavements."^''' 
Greensboro, in 1897, complained of the sand beds on her main 
street, which, however, was being covered with "clay and packable 
dirt" to make a "good hard driveway" which proved a "relief 
to our horses." A sidewalk cleaning ordinance was enforced, which 
freed the sidewalks from displays of goods and benches on which 
loafers had been wont to bask in the sunshine. ^'^ Greensboro ac- 
quired a partial concrete sidewalk in I9OO, yet Camden's streets 
were of "good clay with a smooth gradual slope." The chief prob- 
lem was to avoid washing by a proper scraping of the sides and 
throwing the surplus dirt into the center of the streets. ^^ 

Selma offers a very good example of the stages through which 
other Black Belt towns evolved more belatedly, in street building. 
First was the stage through which Selma passed in the seventies 
when streets were sometimes "almost impassable." Broad Street, 
being most used, was a deep sand bed with mud almost ankle deep 
after hard rains. ^"^ Trees were growing on either side of the street, 

63 Marengo Neivs, Demopolis, October 8, 1891 ; Demopolis Express, 
February 10, 1898. 

64 Sumter County Call, Epes, March 7, 1907. 

65 Linden Democrat-Reporter, December 19, 1912. 

66 Marengo News-Journal, January 20, 1883. 

67 Marion Standard, January 13, 1892. 

68 Alabama Beacon, March 31, September 8, and May 5, 1897. 

69 Montgomery Advertiser, January 27, 1900; Wilcox Progress, Feb- 
ruary 9, 1898. 

70 Grayson, Yesterday, Selvia, 32, 33. Garbage was strewn over the 
streets in 1867. 


ind the shade of the overhanging boughs was in summer a refuge 
for the people, as well as for horses and the conveniences of custo- 
ners. The mud of winter gave way to the dust of summer, when 
the sprinkle cart was a necessary vehicle in dry weather.'''^ 

The second stage came in the eighties when the streets of Selma 
were generally — 

as level as a parlor floor, with just sufficient undulation here and there to 
secure thorough drainage. The streets are wide and straight and intersect 
each other at right angles. The principal streets are graded and graveled, 
leaving wide sidewalks beautifully sodded with grass. The luxuriant water 
oaks which stand in stately grandeur along the walks form almost an un- 
broken shade. Broad margins of the greenest grass line the streets and 
walks .... In some portions of the city the wide streets are divided in 
twain by columns of verdant oaks. '^2 

The third stage came v/hen these quaint, small town scenes gave 
way to paving and many of the trees were removed to give place to 
concrete sidewalks and business houses. The smaller towns were 
acquiring sidewalks around 1905.''' 

Montgomery was more advanced than the smaller towns in the 
care of its streets. A detailed city code forbade misuse of the streets 
in such a way as to leave them obstructed or filthy.'^'* Montgomery's 
streets in 1885 were wide, illuminated by electric and gas lights, 
many lined with shade trees, with an ample system of drainage and 
underground sewerage. Sidewalks were both concrete and dirt. 
Several small parks, the grounds of the state capitol, and a $7,000 
fountain in Court Square were visible effects of beautification pro- 
grams and evidences of civic pride. "^ The purchase of Oak Park in 
1900 added a public recreation area to the facilities of the city."*^ 
The movement now had its momentum, and the process of paving, 
sidewalk building, and garbage disposal went on with vigor in 
the next years of the new century.^^ 

Glenn N. Sisk 
Georgia Institute of Technology 

71 Alabama Beacon, October 25, 1904; Marion Standard, November 
19, 1884. 

"^2 Citizen's Union, Selma, Alabama, 6. 

73 Grayson, Yesterday, Selma, 90; Eutaw Whig and Observer, Janu- 
ary 12, April 20, 1905. 

74 City Code of Montgomery, 1879, Sections 269-273, 107. 

75 McCall, A Sketch of Montgomery, 12. 

76 Annual Message . . . E. B. Joseph, Mayor of Montgomery, . . . 1900, 88. 

77 Annual Message . . . C. P. Mclntyre, Mayor of Montgomery .... 
1905, 14-16; Annual Message . . .W. M. Teague, Mayor of Montgomery . . . 
1907, 9, 10, 159. 


General O'Reilly's Arrival at 
New Orleans 


Although France had ceded Louisiana (the territory west of 
the Mississippi and the city of New Orleans) to Spain by secret 
treaty in 1762, official notification of the transfer did not reach the 
colony until 1764, for the cession had been kept secret lest England 
seize the territory before the Spanish could take possession. Spain 
showed slight enthusiasm for her new colony, apparently consider- 
ing it to be of little worth, and delayed the appointment of the 
first governor, Antonio de Ulloa, until 1765. When Ulloa reached 
New Orleans in March, 1766, he found great discontent among the 
inhabitants of the colony, who were distrustful of Spain's com- 
mercial policies and who hoped that France v/ould reclaim the 
colony. Due to Ulloa's lack of military support and to the hostility 
of the colonists, his attempt to administer the colony ended in his 
being forced to leave New Orleans as a result of open armed resist- 
ance by the colonists in October, 1768. The man chosen by the 
Spanish authorities to succeed him was General Alejandro O'Reilly,^ 
who effectively took possession of the territory and quickly brought 
order to the colony. 

A source of much information concerning O'Reilly's activities 
on his arrival in Louisiana is the document given below, preserved 
in the Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid, Ms 18.577'^ It has been 

1 Alejandro O'Reilly (1725-1794) was one of Spain's most able gen- 
erals. Irish by birth, he went to Spain and at an early age entered the 
Spanish Army. He took part in the War of the Austrian Succession in 
Italy; in 1757 he joined the Austrian Army with which he served until 
1759. In that year he went to France in whose army he took service. 
Recommended to Charles III of Spain, he returned to that country and 
took part in the campaign against Portugal (1762). He was sent to 
Havana when it was restored to Spain after the British occupation and 
rebuilt the fortifications. After acting as governor of Louisiana, he was 
the leader of an unsuccessful campaign in Africa (1775). As a result, he 
was severely criticized but retained the favor of Charles III who assigned 
him to various posts in the provinces. Although he lost favor at the 
death of Charles (1788), he was given another command in 1793 but died 
before taking up his duties. 



described as an eyewitness account of the events related," although 
there is nothing in the text which indicates that the author neces- 
sarily witnessed everything he relates unless it be the fact that he 
quotes the speeches of La Freniere and O'Reilly. In any case, the 
author of the account must have had access to official papers and 
other sources of information since he gives, apparently in full, the 
letter sent by O'Reilly to the French governor Aubry and data re- 
garding the number and kinds of troops who accompanied O'Reilly. 
The Diario which the author follows from August 18 may be either 
a personal diary or some official journal. 

A possible clue to the identity of the author lies in the fact that 
he gives the time of the arrival in New Orleans of the bearer of the 
letter to Aubry and reports Aubry's oral reply to the messenger. 
The happenings at O'Reilly's headquarters during the absence of 
the messenger are not mentioned. It is possible, then, that the 
author of the account was the messenger sent by O'Reilly to Aubry; 
Gayarre says the messenger was Francisco Bouligny.'"^ 

One point on which there seems to be no agreement is the 
number of O'Reilly's troops. Gayarre, who apparently used this 
document without indicating his source, gives the number as 2,600.^ 
Other figures cited are 3,000'' and 3,600.^ The figure given in the 
document is quite clearly 2,100. Rodriguez Casado, citing this 
document and reading the figure 2,100 correctly, mistakenly gives 
750 as the number of Catalan fusiliers.'^ A comparison of the 
digits of the two figures (2,100 and 150) and those found else- 
where in the manuscript leaves no doubt as to the differences be- 
tween 1, 6 and 7. 

Rodriguez Casado on two occasions is inexact in his references 
to the document. Discussing O'Reilly's assurances to the prisoners, 
he quotes " 'porque su dcseo sincero era que todos justificasen su 
conducta; entretanto, sus bienes serian secuestrados.' "^ This is, 
to be sure, the sense of the passage in question, but it is by no 
means a faithful quotation. Again he cites the document in sup- 
port of his statement that "El traslado de los detenidos a la prision 

2 Vicente Rodriguez Casado, Primeros afios de dominacion espaiiola 
en la Luisiana, Madrid, 1942, 319. 

3 Charles Gayan-e, History of Louisiana, 4th ed., New Orleans, 1903, 
II, 289. 

4 Ibid., II, 296. 

5 Garnie William McGinty, A History of Louisiana, New York, 1949, 70. 

6 Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th ed., XVII, 59. 
"^ Primeros aiios, 321. 
8 Ibid., 330. See entry for August 21 in the document. 


se hizo a las diez de la manana . . ." (p. 330). In the entry for 
August 21, the day in question, there is no mention of any specific 

Other than the resolution of certain abbreviations indicated by 
brackets, the doaiment is given as in the manuscript; the erratic 
spelling, punctuation, and use of accent marks are unchanged. 


El dia 24 de Junio de este ano desembarco en la Havana el 
Th[enien}te G[ene]ral Dn Alexandro O-ReiUy con las ordenes 
de S[u] M[ajestad} para tomar las tropas necesarias, y demas 
pertrechos, y ir a la Luisiana a tomar posesion de aquella Provincia 
en nombre de S. M. 

Assi por la actibidad, y celo del expresado general como por 
las disposiciones bien ordenadas del Thte. Gral Antonio Bucareli 
Governador de la Havana, y por el admirable orden, y methodo 
que establecio, para que todo se hiciese sin confusion, y con la 
maior diligencia se dispusieron, embarcaron y hicieron ala vela, 
en onze dias 21 embarcaciones que llebaban 2100 hombres de 
Tropa, un tren de 50 Canones, municiones, viberes, y Hospital, a 
lo que contribuyo por su parte el celo y disposicion del Jefe de 
Esquadra D Juan Antonio de la Colina. 

La Tropa se componia de un Batallon de Lisboa: otro del fixo 
de la Havana; 80 hombres de una compania de Granaderos de 
cada uno de los tres cuerpos de Milicias de la Havana: 150 ArtiUe- 
ros: 40 Dragones y 50 Soldados de las milicias de caballeria del 
monte de la Havana, con 150 fusileros cathalanes. 

Todo este comboy se hizo ala vela de la Havana el dia 6 de Julio, 
y llego ala voca del rio Misisipi el 20. Por este Rio se debian subir 
32 leguas para llegar a la Ciud[a]d del Nuebo Orleans, y en la 
voca de el mando dar fondo D. Alexandro O-Reilly, para esperar 
algunas embarcaciones del Comboy, que se havian atrasado, y 
despacho un oficial al Gov[ernad}or Frances del nuebo Orleans 
con la carta sig[uien}te. 

"Mui S[en]or mio: — S. M. C[at61ica} a cuio servicio me hallo 
de Thte. gral, se ha dignado comisionarme p[ar}a en su nombre 
tomar posesion de la Luisiana, Nueba Orleans, y Yslas en que 
esta situada d[ic]ha ciudad, a cuio fin llebo las correspondientes 
or[de]n[e]s, que reserbo en mi poder para su entrega a V[uestra] 


S[enoria} en propria mano a n[ues]tra primera vista: Anticipo 
a V. S. esta noticia con la de mi arribo oy a la Balisa, y de estar 
prosiguiendo mi navegacion para esa ciudad, y la mucha com- 
placencia que me resultara de quanto fuese de su satisfaccion, y 
Dbsequio. Ruego a V. S. q[u]e se sirba tomar las providencias que 
m esta ocasion considere del mejor servicio de ambas Magestades, 
Y correspondientes al obgeto de mi Comision, franqueandome al 
mismo t[iem]po ocasiones de que acredite mi mui att[en]ta y 
afectuosa voluntad. Dios gu[ard]e Va. a bordo del Volante a 20 
de Julio de 1769. — B[esa} l[a] m[an}o de V. S. su ni[a]s 
att[en]to seg[ur]o servi[d]or Dn Alexandro O'Reilly — Sor. dn 
Phelipe Aubry." 

El oficial que Uebo esta carta salio de la frag[a]ta del Co- 
iiand[an}te el dia 21 al amanecer y Uego el 24 a la noche a la Nueba 
3rleans donde le recivio el Gov[ernad]or con mucho agrado, y 
e dixo, que estaba pronto a entregar la Provincia a los Espaiioles, 
I que si los habitantes querian hazer alguna oposicion el con su tropa 
^ parciales se unirian a los Espafioles para castigar su audacia, y 
?sto mismo dijo a los havitantes y negociantes que mando juntar 
il otro dia, de resulta de lo qual, y viendo el Pueblo el peligro en 
que se hallaba, despues de varies debates determinaron nombrar tres 
Jiputados para cumplimentar al Generl. e implorar su clemencia para 
niio fin fueron nombrados los Sefiores la Freniere, Marquiz, y 
Millet: Estos Diputados bolvieron con el ofi2[ia}l q[u}e havia 
levado la carta, y Uegaron en 40 horas a la frag[a]ta del 
I!om[andan]te al qual hizo Mr. la Freniere la arenga sig[uien]te. 

El Sor. Marquiz antiguo Com[andan]te de la Com[pafii}a 
5uisa, y Habitante: el Sor. Millet Th[enient]e de milicias, y nego- 
:iante: y Yo Procur[ad}or Genl. del Rey y havitante, hemos sido 
sscojidos para venir a asegurar a V[uestra} E[xcelencia] de la 
mmision de la Colonia alas or[de}n[e]s de las Magestad[e]s 
!Zhrist[ianisi}ma y Cath[61i]ca y de su veneracion por las virtudes, 
^ talentos militares que ban colocado a V. E. en el alto puesto en 
q[u]e se halla: Estamos encargados de asegurar a V. E. el profundo 
:esp[ec]to de la Colonia por S. M. C. su amor por S. M. Christma. y 
3or toda la augusta familia de Borbon. La Colonia no ha tenido 
lunca intencion de faltar nada al profundo respecto que profesa 
il grande monarca que V. E. representa. La dureza del genio 
ie Dn Antonio de Ulloa, y la subvercion de los privilegios asegura- 
Jos p[o}r el acto de cesion ban sido la sola causa de las reboluciones 
Jucedidas en esta Colonia: Suplicamos a V. E. de no mirarla como 


un Pais conquistado: Las or[de}n[e}s de que V. E. es Portador 
son suficientes para tomar posesion del Pais, y hacer mas efectos 
en los Corazones, que las armas en las manos. El Frances es docil, 
y acostumbrado a ser governado con dulcura: V. E. vera a su llegada 
todos sugetos alas or[de]n[e]s de las dos Magestades: La Colonia 
implora del patrocinio de V. E. sus privilegios, y de su equidad 
demora competente para aquellos que desean transmigrarse. 

Dn Alexandro O-ReiUy escucho esta arenga sin interrumpirle 
con la Seriedad, y Senorio corresp[ondien}te a su Caracter y respondio 
con estas o semej antes voces — Senores: No es posible alos hombres 
juzgar de las cosas sin enterarse antes de los ante2[eden]tes. Luego 
q[u}e Yo llegue ala Ciudad pondre especial cuidado en instruirme 
a fondo de todo. Pueden V[uestras]m[ercede}s estar seguros que 
mi m[ay]or gusto sera hacer bien, y que sentire entranablem[en}te 
verme precisado a hacer mal a nadie, Yo sere el primero en facilitar 
a Vms. m.edios para justificarse: Tranquilen Vms. a todo el Pueblo, 
y asegurenle de las buenas disposiciones en que me hallo llevado 
de mi Caracter: Veo con gusto el Partido q[u]e Vms. han tomado, 
pues de lo contrario esten Vms. seguros, que hubiera echo respectar 
el Pavellon de mi Rey y que nada hubiera sido capas de detenerme: 
Tal era mi determinacion, y hubiera remontado el rio hasta los 
Ilinoeses si hubiera sido preciso. Los hombres en el Delirio no re- 
flexionan ni ven las inconsequencias de sus acciones: se han figurado 
Vms. ser capaces de resistir a las fuerzas de uno de los mas poderosos 
Reyes de la Europa.'^ Y han podido Vms. pensar que el Rey Chris- 
tianisso. unido por los lazos de la sangre y por la mas estrecha 
amistad con el Rey mi amo hubiese nunca apoyado ni puesto atencion 
a los gritos de un Pueblo sedicioso.'' A esta vos Sedicioso Marquiz 
quizo alegar algunas razones: El Genl. le respondio con dulcura — 
Ya he d[ic}ho a Vms. senores que a su tiempo esaichare con 
gusto sus razones: A Dios gracias estoy libre de preocupaciones, y 
no ignoro que muchas vezes las cosas que parecen negras desde 
lejos, suelen verse blancas quando uno se aproxima. 

Haviendo marchado estos Diputados embio el Genl. con ellos 
varios oficiales p[ar}a q[u]e preparasen los quarteles, y aloxamiento 
p[ar]a la Tropa, y viendo quanto importaba la brevedad, y q[u]e 
las Calmas, y vientos contrarios lo detenian mucho, hizo trabajar 
toda la Tropa, y a fuerza de su constancia se consiguio el qfuje 
acabase de llegar todo el comboy a vista de la Ciudad el 17 por 
la mafiana, y desde este dia se seguira el Diario. 
18 de Agosto. Al amanecer todas las Embarcaciones que ocupaban 


p con buen or[de}n el frente de la Ciudad pusieron su plancha 
para el Desembarco. 

Poco despues £ue el Gov[ernad]or frances con sus oficiales a 
cumplimentar a n[uest]ro Gefe quien salto en tierra con esta 
Comitiba y £ue ala casa q[u}e le estaba destinada; pero antes de 
medio dia se restituyo a bordo para dar las or[de}n[e}s Conducentes 
al Desembarco que se hizo en la forma sig[uien}te. 

A las 5 Disparo la Capitana un Canonazo que £ue senal para 
empabezar y q[u}e toda la tropa desembarcase a un tiempo con 
prontitud, y buen or[de}n como se execute ocupando cada una el 
puesto que se le havia destinado en la Plaza de armas que forma 
tres f rentes en quadrilongo, y al quarto (que es uno de los dos 
mayores) bana el rio, y fue por dondo se hizo el Desembarco. 

Al frente del rio estaba el principal y delante de este, una hasta 
de vandera y formada la poca tropa veterana francesa con las milicias 
del Pais a su isquierda. 

El frente menor de la Plaza, a la derecha de la Tropa Francesa 
:orm6 la columna trocada del Regim[ien}to de Lisboa, en el frente 
opuesto a los franceses formaron los ArtiUeros, Fusileros de Mon- 
tana, dragones y las tres compafiias de milicias de Blancos, Pardos 
y Morenos, q[u]e estaban en el centro segun la prerrogacion q[u}e 
a cada uno correspondia. 

Ocupaba el Rexim[ien]to de La Havana (cerrando el quadro) 
el costado Ysquierdo de la tropa francesa, que era el frente opuesto 
a el de Lisboa; pero dejo claro por el qual se entraba en la calle donde 
esta la Iglesia, y enq[u}e se formo la tropa de Caballeria del monte 
de la Havana. 

En la calle que esta ala Cabeza del regim[ien]to de Lisboa y al 
costado del prinsipal se coloco la tropa del Batallon que deve 
formarse para esta guarnicion, y que venia en Piquetes, los quales 
se destinaron para mudar la tropa francesa que estaba en las Puertas, 
y demas Guardias de esta Ciudad. 

En medio del quadro al frente del pr[incip]al estaba el 
Gov[ernad]or frances con las primeras personas del Consexo, y 
del Pueblo, que fueron a recivir a n[uest}ro Gefe quando vajo 
a tierra, a cuio tiempo le hizo su saludo la frag[a}ta Comand[an}ta 
cuia marineria, y la de las demas embarcaciones que de antemano 
estaba ya en las vergas, y topes le dieron cinco vezes el Viva el Rey. 

Al entrar S. E. en el quadro se le hicieron los honores de 
Cap[ita}n gral. de Provincia, y se encamino con su Comitiba y 
la francesa al pie del hasta de la vandera en donde presento al 


citado Gov[ernad]or las or[de]n[e}s de S. M. Christianissa. con- 
cernientes ala formal cesion c][[u}e hizo de d[ic}ha Provincia a S. 
M. C. y los Poderes que authorizaban a S. E. para tomar posesion 
en nombre de este Soberano: en cuia conseq[uenci]a publico el 
referido Gov[ernado]r que ya estaban todos libres del Juram[en]to 
de fiel vasallage q[u]e hasta entonces los sugetaba al primero de 
los expresados Monarcas, y despues de esta ceremonia se enarbolo 
la vandera de Espana en d[ic]ha Hasta, en las quatro Puertas de 
la Ciudad, y enfrente de la casa de n[uest}ro Genl. Los franceses 
(dirigidos por su Gov[ernad}or) dieron cinco vezes Viva el Key. 
N[uest}ra tropa lo egecuto tres vezes con una descarga graneada, 
y al mismo que la salva de la frag[a]ta Comand[an}ta. 

Ymmediatam[en]te salio el Thte. Coronel D. Luis de las Casas 
(ya elegido p[ar]a Sarg[en}to m[ayo]r de esta Plaza) con el que 
hasta entonces lo fue, y condugeron la tropa destinada a mudar 
todas las guardias y custodia de la polvora, y Artilleria. 

Executado lo anted[ic]ho fue n[uest}ro Gefe con los de los 
Cuerpos, y los susod[ic]hos franceses a la Yglesia en q[u}e fue 
recivido con Palio, y la acostumbrada solemnidad: El Cura o Vicario 
pr[incip]al hizo a S. E. una arenga mui patetica en nombre del 
Pueblo y con las mas tiernas protestas de fidelidad: Correspondio 
el Genl. eloquente y conciso ofreciendo protexer la religion, hazer 
respectar alos Ministros del santuario, sobstener la authoridad del 
Rey, y el decoro de sus armas, atender al bien pu[bli]co y guardar 
just[ici]a a todos. 

Despues de este acto se entro en la Yglesia en donde se 
canto el Te Deum a cuio t[iem]po la tropa, y frag[a]ta repitieron 
sus descargas en accion de gracias. 

Concluido tan piadoso acto bolvio S. E. con la ya d[ic]ha co- 
mitiba a ver desfilar las tropas que dirigiendose a sus respectivos 
quarteles rompieron el quadro, y saludaron a S. E. a tiempo de 
pasar por donde estaba. 

Dia 19. Combido S. E. a comer al Govern[ad]or Frances y otras 
personas de Distinccion y a los Gefes de los Cuerpos sinq[u]e estos 
obsequios, ni las ocupaciones del dia ant[eri]or impidiesen q[u}e 
S. E. empesase a tomar declaraciones secretas sobre los pasados 
sucesos y a registrar con sus ojos quantos instrumentos pudo recojer 
conducentes a este fin. 

El dia 20. sin abandonar d[ic]ho cuid[a}do fue a visitar al 
Gov[ernad]or Frances con todo el Cuerpo de oficiales n[uest}ros. 
El dia 21. Por la mafiana cito a su casa 9 de los pr[incip]ales 


vezinos de esta Ciudad mandando al mismo tiempo que se arrestasen 
en el pr[incip]al otros tres de inferior clase. 

Hizo cargo a aquellos de la conducta que se decia havian tenido 
en tiempo de la Conjuracion formada p[ar]a la expulsion del 
Gov[ernad}or UUoa y demas Espanoles que estaban en esta 
Provincia: Les hablo con expreciones pateticas, y convincentes, y 
concluio diciendoles, que eran acusados de haber formado la con- 
juracion por lo que los miraba, conio a reos de estado, que iban a 
ser procesados, que serian oydas sus defensas, que se les administraria 
pronta y recta just[ici}a que todo se egecutaba de or[de}n del Rey, 
Soberano mui piadoso, pero que sobstiene su respectable authoridaci, 
y el decoro de sus vasallos: que S. E. no tomaria otra parte en 
esta causa (cuios juezes estaban alii presentes y les hizo ver) que la 
q[u}e fuese conducente a favorecerlos, y que deseaba que todos 
pudiesen justificar plenam[en]te su conducta que entretanto estarian 
arrestados y sequestrados sus bienes para cuio Ynventario asistiria 
por parte de cada uno el sujeto que quisieren nombrar el qual pre- 
senciaria tambien el reconocim[ien}to de todos los papeles q[u}e 
se hallasen. 

En virtud de lo antez[eden]te cada uno nombro a q[uie]n quizo 
tomando alii mismo apuntacion de los sujetos elegidos. 

Despues mando S. E. a los Reos que entregasen sus espadas, y 
acompafiado cada uno de dos oficiales n[uest}ros q[u]e le Uebaban 
por el brazo se introdugeron en medio de dos Compafiias de 
Granaderos que los Uebaron a Depositar con separaz[i]on en una casa 
bien custodiada, en la frag[a}ta del Rey y en otras dos embarca- 
ciones de las mayores del Comboy dejando en todas la co- 
rresp[ondien]te guardia para custodiar a estos infelices, y q[u}e 
no tengan comunicacion alguna entre tanto que se les toman sus 
declaraciones, y que se havilitan havitacion[e]s en que esten mas 
comodos y seguros. 

El dia 22 se publico con solemnid[a}d un vando en que se concede 
perdon en nombre del Rey a todos los habitant[e]s de esta Pro- 
vincia q[u]e fueron inducidos y engafiados por los authores dela 

Este indulto hizo que respirasen los Coraz[one]s de este 
Vecindario a q[uie]n havia consternado la nov[eda}d del dia 

El dia 25 se cito en publicos edictos alos havitantes de esta Ciud[a]d 
y de sus immediaz[ione]s dejando los restantes de la Provincia para 


otros dias, y los que estan mas distantes lo egecutaran en sus regu- 
lares a presencia de los sugetos que sean Comisionados para que 
se hallen el 26 a las 7 de la manana en casa de S. E. a hacer el 
solemne juram[en]to de vasallaje y fidelidad a su nuebo Soberano. 
El dia 24 se prendio a otro de los principales Gefes dela 
Subleva2[i]on y paso S. E. oficio al Gov[emad]or frances p[ar]a 
q[u]e arestase, y asegurase la persona, papeles, y Bienes del 
Comiss[ari}o de esta nacion que egercia las funciones de su 
Yntend[en]te q[uie]n tubo en su casa las Juntas p[ar]a la expul- 
sion de los Espanoles, y mando imprimir el edicto difamatorio que 
entonces se publico contra nosotros. 

El referido Gov[ernad]or egecuto immed[iatamen]te lo q[ue] 
n[uest}ro Genl. le pidio y manteniendo al Comisario baxo la 
Custodia de dos oficiales, y 30 soldados que ninguna comunica2[i6]n 
le dejan se le forma el proceso tomando las Comben[ien}tes de- 
clara2[ione]s despues de haver sequestrado quanto tiene, y de haver 
hecho la entrega de los papeles concernientes a su empleo, a su 
secretario q[u}e pareze es la persona de la m[ay}or confianza. 
Dio S. E. varias provid[encia]s relatibas ala buena Adm[inistraci}on 
de just[ici}a en favor de estos havitantes eligiendo p[ar}a este 
efecto los mas inteligentes, y acreditados de probidad entre ellos. 
El dia 26 se hizo el Juram[en}to de fidelidad solemnem[en}te y 
empezando p[o}r el estado Eclesiastico al que siguieron por su 
or[de}n los demas. 

El dia 27 Egecutaron lo mismo los Acadienses y Alemanes q[u}e 
no pudieron hacerlo antes. 

El dia 28 y sig[uien}tes desembarco la Artilleria, y demas pertrechos 
de ella con los viberes y quanto quedaba a bordo de las embar- 
ca2[ione]s del Comboy. 

Siguen las Provid[encia}s de buen gov[ier}no y el proceso de 
los Reos. 

Nueba Orleans 30 de Ag[os]to de 1769. 



On the 24th of June of this year, Lieutenant General Alejandro 
O'Reilly, with His Majesty's orders to take the necessary troops and 
supplies and to go to Louisiana to take possession of that province 
in the name of His Majesty, landed in Havana. 

Due to the activity and zeal of the said general, to the well 
ordered arrangements of Lieutenant General Antonio Bucareli, 
Governor of Havana, and to the admirable order and method which 
he established so that all might be done without confusion and with 
the greatest dispatch, in eleven days 21 vessels carrying 2,100 troops, 
a train of 50 cannon, ammunition, provisions, and a hospital were 
made ready, manned, and put underway. The diligence and ability 
of Squadron Leader Don Juan Antonio de la Colonia contributed 
to this. 

The troop was composed of a battalion from Lisbon, another 
from the Havana garrison regiment, 80 men of a company of grena- 
diers from each one of the three militia corps of Havana, 150 artil- 
lerymen, 40 dragoons, 50 mounted militiamen of Havana, and 150 
Catalan fusiliers. 

All this convoy sailed from Havana the 6th of July and arrived 
at the mouth of the Mississippi River the 20th. To reach the city of 
New Orleans it was necessary to go up this river 32 leagues. At 
the mouth Don Alejandro O'Reilly gave the order to drop anchor 
to await some vessels of the convoy which had been delayed, and 
he sent an officer to the French governor of New Orleans with 
the following letter. 

"My Dear Sir: His Catholic Majesty, in whose service I am 
lieutenant general, has deigned to commission me to take possession 
in his name of Louisiana, New Orleans, and the islands on vv^hich 
said city is situated, for which purpose I bear the proper orders which 
I retain in my power to deliver to Your Lordship personally at our 
first meeting. I send Your Lordship this advance notice along with 
the news that I arrived today at Balize, that I am continuing my 
voyage toward the city, and that it vv'ill give me great pleasure that 
all be to your satisfaction and contentment. I beg Your Lordship 
please to take the measures which on this occasion you consider to 
the best service of both Majesties, and corresponding to the object 
of my commission, granting me at the same time opportunity to 


manifest my good will. God keep Your Lordship. On board the 
Volante, 20 July 1769. Respectfully, Your Lordship's most obedient 
servant Don Alejandro O'Reilly. Mr. Philippe Aubry." 

The officer who carried this letter left the Commander's frigate 
at dawn on the 21st. On the night of the 24th he reached New 
Orleans where the governor received him very courteously and told 
him that he was ready to deliver the province to the Spanish and 
that if the inhabitants wished to make any opposition, he with his 
troops and his partisans would join the Spanish to punish their 
audacity. He said this same thing to the inhabitants and merchants 
whom he called together the following day, as a result of which 
the people, seeing the danger which they were in and after some 
debate, decided to name three representatives to pay their respects to 
the general and to beg his clemency. For this purpose Messrs. La 
Freniere, Marquiz, and Millet were named. These representatives 
returned with the officer who had carried the letter and in 40 hours 
they reached the frigate of the Commander to whom Mr. La 
Freniere made the following address: 

"Mr. Marquiz, former commander of the Swiss Company and 
planter, Mr. Millet, lieutenant of militia and merchant, and I, 
King's Attorney General and planter, have been chosen to come 
to assure Your Excellency of the submission of the colony to the 
orders of His Most Christian Majesty and of His Catholic Majesty 
and of its respect for the virtues and military talents which have 
placed Your Excellency in the high place you occupy. We are 
charged with assuring Your Excellency of the colony's profound 
respect for His Catholic Majesty, its love for His Most Christian 
Majesty and for all the august Bourbon family. The colony has 
never intended to be found wanting in any way in the profound 
respect which it professes for the great monarch whom Your Excel- 
lency represents. The harshness of temper of Don Antonio de 
Ulloa and the subversion of the privileges assured by the act of 
cession have been the sole cause of the revolutions which have taken 
place in this colony. We beg Your Excellency not to look upon it 
as a conquered country. The orders which Your Excellency bears 
are sufficient to take possession of the country and to produce better 
effects in our hearts than a show of arms. The French are docile 
and accustomed to being governed gently. On your arrival Your 
Excellency will see all obedient to the orders of both Majesties. Of 
Your Excellency's favor the colony begs its privileges and of your 
fairness, sufficient delay for those who wish to emigrate." 


Don Alejandro O'Reilly heard this address without interruption 
with all the seriousness and nobility of his character and replied 
with these or similar words: "Gentlemen: It is not possible for 
men to judge things without first informing themselves of the 
antecedents. As soon as I reach the city I shall take special care 
to inform myself fully of everything. You may be sure that my 
greatest pleasure will be to act justly and that I shall deeply regret 
finding myself obliged to do harm to anyone. I shall be the first 
to provide you with means to justify yourselves. Calm the whole 
people and assure them of the favorable attitude to which my nature 
inclines me. I look with pleasure upon the decision you have 
taken, for, had it been otherwise, you may be sure that I would 
have made my King's flag respected and that nothing would have 
been capable of stopping me. Such was my determination, and I 
would have gone up the river as far as the Illinois if it had been 
necessary. In delirium men do not reflect, nor do they see how 
inconsequent their actions are. Have you imagined yourselves capable 
of resisting the forces of one of the most powerful kings of Europe? 
And could you have thought that the Most Christian King, united 
by ties of blood and by the closest friendship to the King my master, 
would ever have supported or given heed to the cries of a seditious 
people?" At this word "seditious" Marquiz tried to allege some 
reasons. The General answered him gently, "I have already told 
you, gentlemen, that at the proper time I will hear your reasons 
with pleasure. Thanks to God, I am free of prejudice and I am 
not unaware that often things which seem black from a distance 
are usually seen to be white when one approaches." 

When these representatives departed, the General sent with them 
several officers to prepare the barracks and quarters for the troops. 
Seeing that haste was important and that the calms and contrary 
winds were greatly delaying him, he set all the troops to work and 
by their diligence it was brought about that the whole convoy came 
in sight of the city on the morning of the 17th and from this day, 
the Diary will be followed. 

18 August. At dawn all the vessels which now occupied in 
good order the front of the city put down their gangplanks for 
the landing. 

Shortly afterwards the French governor and his officers came to 
pay their respects to our Chief, who came ashore with this retinue 
and went to the house assigned to him. But before noon he re- 


turned on board to give the orders concerning the landing which 
was accomplished in the following manner: 

At 5 o'clock the flagship fired a cannon which was the signal 
to dress ship and for all the troops to disembark promptly, simul- 
taneously, and in good order. This was done, each group occupy- 
ing the place assigned to it in the Plaza de Armas, which forms 
three sides of a rectangle; the fourth side (which is one of the two 
greater) is the river where the landing v/as made. 

Facing the river was the town hall and in front of it a flag- 
pole with the few veteran French troops drawn up with the militia 
of the country on the left. 

On the shorter side of the Plaza, to the right of the French 
troops, the column of the Lisbon regiment formed; on the side 
opposite the French were formed the artillerymen, mountain 
fusiliers, dragoons, and the three militia companies (Whites, Mulat- 
toes, and Negroes), which were in the center according to the 
precedence proper to each one. 

The Havana regiment (closing the square) occupied the left 
side of the French troops, opposite the Lisbon regiment. An open- 
ing was left allowing entry into the street where the church is and 
in which the Havana cavalry troop was drawn up. 

In the street at the head of the Lisbon regiment and at the side 
of the town hall were placed the troops of the battalion to be 
formed for this garrison. They came up in squads assigned to re- 
place the French troops at the gates and other guardposts of the city. 

In the middle of the square in front of the town hall was the 
French governor with the leading persons of the Council and of the 
town who went to receive our commander when he landed. At 
that time he was saluted by the flagship whose crew and those of 
the other vessels, who were already at the yards and mastheads, 
shouted five times "Long live the King." 

As His Excellency entered the square he was given the honors 
of Captain General of the province. He made his way with his 
retinue and the French to the foot of the flagpole where he pre- 
sented to the Governor the orders of His Most Christian Majesty 
concerning the cession which he made of the said province to His 
Catholic Majesty and the powers which authorized His Excellency 
to take possession in the name of this sovereign. As a consequence 
of this the governor made public announcement that all were now 
free of the oath of faithful vassalage to the first of the mentioned 


monarchs. After this ceremony the flag of Spain was raised on the 
flagpole, at the four gates of the city, and in front of our general's 
house. The French (directed by their governor) cried five times 
"Long live the King." Our troops gave the shout three times, 
together with a volley simultaneous with the salvo of the flagship. 

Immediately Lieutenant Colonel Don Luis de las Casas (elected 
sergeant major of this city) departed with the officer who until 
that time had held the post, and they conducted the troops assigned 
to change the guards and to keep custody of the powder and artillery. 

When the foregoing was carried out our commander went with 
the corps commanders and the above named French to the church 
where he was received with the pallium and the accustomed 
solemnity. The priest or vicar general made His Excellency a very 
pathetic address in the name of the people with the most tender 
protestations of fidelity. The General replied eloquently and con- 
cisely offering to protect religion, to cause the ministers of the 
sanctuary to be respected, to maintain the authority of the King and 
the honor of his arms, to attend to the public good and to maintain 
justice for all. 

After this act they entered the church where the Te Deu?n was 
sung, at which time the troops and the frigate repeated their salutes 
in an act of thanksgiving. 

At the end of this pious act. His Excellency returned with the 
above mentioned retinue to review the parade of the troops who 
broke up the square, going to their respective barracks and saluting 
His Excellency as they passed him. 

19th. His Excellency invited the French governor, other persons 
of distinction, and the corps commanders to dine. These courtesies 
and the events of the preceding day did not prevent His Excellency's 
beginning to take secret depositions about the past events and to 
examine personally all the instruments he could gather together 
conducive to this purpose. 

20th. Without abandoning said task, he went to visit the French 
governor with the whole corps of our officers. 

21st. In the morning he summoned to his house nine of the 
principal citizens of the city, ordering at the same time that three 
others of lower rank be arrested in the town hall. 

He charged them with the conduct which they were said to have 
pursued at the time of the conspiracy formed for the expulsion of 


Governor Ulloa and other Spaniards who were in this province. 
He spoke to them with touching and convincing expressions and 
concluded by teUing them that they were accused of having formed 
the conspiracy, because of which he looked upon them as prisoners 
of State, that they were going to be tried, that their defenses would 
be heard, that quick and honest justice would be given them, that 
all was carried out by order of the King, a very merciful sovereign 
but one who maintains his honorable authority and the decorum of 
his subjects, that His Excellency would take no other part in this 
case (whose judges were there present and he pointed them out) 
than that which was conducive to favor them, that he desired that 
all might be able to justify fully their conduct, that meanwhile they 
would be under arrest and their property sequestered. The in- 
ventory of this property would be witnessed on behalf of each one 
by the person that each might wish to name, who would also witness 
the examination of all the papers that might be found. 

By virtue of the preceding each one named whom he wished, 
note being taken then and there of the persons chosen. 

Afterwards His Excellency ordered the accused to surrender 
their swords and, each one accompanied by two of our officers who 
took him by the arm, they were placed between two companies 
of grenadiers who placed them in solitary confinement in a well 
guarded house, in the King's frigate, and in two of the other largest 
vessels of the convoy, leaving at each place the proper guard for 
the safekeeping of these unhappy men so that they have no com- 
munication while their depositions are being taken and while rooms 
in which they may be more comfortable and secure are being 

22nd. There was published solemnly a proclamation in which 
pardon in the name of the King is granted to all the inhabitants of 
this province v/ho were enticed and deceived by the authors of the 

This pardon calmed the hearts of this community that had 
been dismayed by the news of the preceding day. 

23rd. In public edicts the inhabitants of this city and its en- 
virons were summoned to appear on the 26th at 7 A.M. in His 
Excellency's house to take the solemn oath of vassalage and fidelity 
to their new sovereign leaving the rest of the province for other 
days. Those who are most distant will take it in their turn in the 
presence of the persons who are commissioned. 


24th. Another of the principal leaders of the revolt was seized 
and His Excellency requested the French governor to arrest and 
seaire the person, papers, and property of the commissary of this 
nation who exercised the functions of intendant and who held in his 
house the meetings for the expulsion of the Spaniards and who 
ordered printed the defamatory edict which was then published 
against us. 

The governor carried out immediately what our general asked 
of him, keeping the commissary in the custody of two officers 
and 30 soldiers who permit him no communication. The case 
against him is being prepared, the proper depositions being taken 
after all his property was sequestered and the papers relative to 
his office were delivered to his secretary who, it seems, is the person 
of the greatest trustworthiness. 

His Excellency issued several provisional decrees relative to the 
good administration of justice in favor of these inhabitants, choosing 
among them the most intelligent and those most accredited with 
probity to carry them out. 

26th. The oath of allegiance was taken, beginning with the 
ecclesiastics who were followed in order by the rest. 

27th. The oath was taken by the Acadians and the Germans 
who could not do so earlier. 

28th and following. The artillery, its supplies and stores, and 
all that was left on board the vessels of the convoy were unloaded. 

The provisions for good government and the trial of the pris- 
oners continue. 

New Orleans. 30 August 1769. 

Donald G. Castanien 
Northwestern University 

Book Reviews 

Westernized Yankee: The Story of Cyrus Woodman. By Larry Gara. The 
State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison, 1956. Pp. x, 254. 
Illustrated. $4.50. 

American historians have devoted considerable attention to biography 
writing in recent years with some emphasis upon various minor figures in 
our local and national historj'. This work is a volume in a series of 
biographical studies published by the State Historical Society of Wisconsin 
dealing with a number of leaders who contributed to the frontier period in 
the history of the state. 

Born in Buxton, Maine, on June 2, 1814, Cyrus Woodman graduated 
from Bowdoin College in 1836, studied law in Boston and Cambridge, 
Massachusetts, and after practicing his profession for one year accepted a 
position as assistant land agent for the speculative Boston and Western 
Land Company which had extensive holdings in Illinois, Missouri and 
Wisconsin. Arriving in Winslow, Illinois, a townsite of the company in 
January, 1840, the twenty-five year old lawyer soon took over the manage- 
ment of the agency which he held until the summer of 1844, when he 
formed a law and land agency partnership with Cadwallader C. Washburn 
in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. 

Dissolving the partnership in 1855, Woodman sold his home in Mineral 
Point and the following year toured Europe with his family. Compelled 
to return to his old home to look after his interests during the panic in 
1857, he rented a house and worked in his old office until 1862, at which 
time he was employed for two years as a land agent for an eastern firm of 
capitalists with headquarters in Detroit, Michigan. He moved his family 
to Cambridge, Massachusetts in the fall of 1863. He then supervised 
several railroad construction jobs in Nebraska until he retired in 1870. He 
died in Cambridge on March 30, 1889. He had married Charlotte Flint, 
a boyhood sweetheart on January 5, 1842, who bore him six children, two 
of whom died in infancy. 

The story of this Yankee lured to the frontier more than a century ago 
is a very interesting one and contains much information of value to the 
student of American frontier history. While Woodman in many ways dis- 
liked the crude and rough life in early Illinois and Wisconsin, he was 
convinced that the West was the land of opportunity and remained there 
for a period of thirty years. Harassed by timber thieves, a shortage of 
money and the many other handicaps common to the frontier, Woodman 
engaged in a wide diversity of work and speculative enterprises. He was 
ever on the alert for new ways to make money. He made a trip to California 
during the gold rush and probably would have gone into business there 
temporarily had it not been for sickness in his family. Although he did 
not engage in the dubious business practices common to the frontier, he 
was a successful business man and through hard work and real ability accu- 
mulated a modest fortune which enabled him to live well and in his retire- 



ment to contribute to those causes he thought worth while. In spite of his 
dominating and impatient attitudes, he was fond of his family and treated 
them well. He was energetic and restless throughout his life and after 
retirement kept "busy doing nothing." His Unitarian religion, unpopular 
in the early West, seems to have had little influence on him. He was a 
lonely man and the hard life of the frontier and the fear of becoming 
old seems to have worried him throughout his life. 

It is the opinion of the reviewer that this volume meets the requirements 
of good biography. There are difficulties involved in handling the life of 
a man within a narrow compass. It is evident that the author has had 
access to large amounts of material and that he has handled it in an able 
manner. He has recreated Cyrus Woodman, revealing his true personality. 
He presents a complete, accurate and unbiased account of the deeds, ex- 
periences and thinking of his subject and in so doing has steered a middle 
course between meagreness and redundancy. He has included those de- 
tails that are necessary in giving his subject vitality. Perhaps most im- 
portant of all, the writer has related the person to the history of the period 
which helps to give human meaning to the history of the middle western 
frontier. The volume is well written and documented with carefully 
chosen illustrations. The index could have been improved. 

Harold E. Briggs 
Southern Illinois University 

La Follette and the Rise of the Progressives in Wisconsin. By Robert S. 
Maxwell. State Historical Societ)- of Wisconsin, Madison, 1956. Pp. 
viii, 271. Illustrated. $4.50. 

It is not easy to write objectively about Robert M. La Follette. Almost 
everyone who has written about him has made evident either a dislike for 
or an admiration of the well known political leader, or politician, as you 
prefer, from Wisconsin. However, and perhaps fortunately for Robert S. 
Maxwell, this work was not intended to be a biographical treatment of 
La Follette but rather an analysis of the relationship of La Follette to the 
progressive movement in Wisconsin. Hence, much that relates only in- 
directly to La Follette has been presented to the reader, who sees La Follette 
only as an actor, albeit an important one, in Wisconsin politics, from about 
1900 to about 1915. 

Dr. Maxwell has industriously searched far and wide for his reference 
material, as the many pages of detailed notes and bibliographical references 
indicate. The result is an appraisal of the primary election law in Wisconsin, 
the regulation of utilities and railroads, the taxation of railroad property, 
the regulation of insurance companies, the civil service code, the state income 
tax, the corrupt practices act and many other pieces of legislation that com- 
bined to form what was referred to as "the Wisconsin Idea." Much attention 
is directed to the assignment of power to the Railroad Commission, created 


in 1905. Other commissions, created in order to regulate insurance com- 
panies, to regulate industry in general in the state and to equalize taxes, 
were approved by the state legislators. These commissions did many things 
previously done either by the legislature or by the governor, and ordinarily, 
at least, did them better than they had previously been done. 

After having served three terms as governor, and after assuring him- 
self that the progressive movement was safely launched in the state. La 
Follette entered the Senate of the United States in 1906. However, he 
retained his influence and power in Wisconsin, with the result that the 
political machine that he had built, continued to function. Even though 
state government expenses doubled between 1900 and 1913, state revenues 
rose from about five million dollars to over fourteen million dollars dur- 
ing the same period, thereby enabling the state to meet its obligations. 

Chapter Nine, entitled, "The State and the University" is helpful in 
enabling one to understand how La Follette utilized the staff and the 
facilities of the University of Wisconsin in furthering the progressive move- 
ment. Helpful information is given, too, concerning the extremely important 
Legislative Reference Library placed under the direction of Charles Mc- 
Carthy in 1901. The reasons for La Follette's break, in 1909, with his 
wealthy sponsor, Isaac Stephenson, are not made too clear, but the factors 
which prevented La Follette from achieving nomination on the Republican 
ticket in 1912 are well, even though briefly analyzed. 

Although La Follette v/as to remain in the Senate until his death in 
1925, his basic work for his native state was completed by 1912. By that 
date he had perfected the progressive machine and overthrown the conser- 
vative organization. He had brought the progressive movement in Wis- 
consin to national attention. His was the important personality in Wisconsin 
politics. His ideals and prejudices, his strength and his weakness were re- 
flected in the progressive movement in Wisconsin. 

Paul Kiniery 
Loyola University, Chicago 

Revolution in America. Confidential Letters and Journals 1776—1784 of 
Adjutant General Major Baurmeister of the Hessian Forces. Translated 
and annotated by Bernard Uhlendorf. Rutgers University Press, New 
Brunswick, N. J., 1957. Pp. xv, 640. Illustrated. $9.00. 

When it is realized that nearly half of the imperial regulars fighting 
to repress our Revolution were the twenty thousand German auxiliaries, 
it is at once clear that their State archives could throw considerable light 
on the progress of that conflict. Hesse— Cassel in particular contributed over 
fifty per cent of the German component. Her group alone of the six 
contingents retained its independent organization and command during the 
eight year combat. Her Adjutant General remained throughout the war 
at general headquarters in the vicinity of New York. This gentleman — 
and he was that — reported to his sovereign with military regularity. It is 


lis confidential letters that are here translated and expertly edited for the 
\merican reader. 

The papers now reside in the William L. Clements Library of the 
Jniversity of Michigan. Most of them are now printed for the first time. 
\11 have an intimate bearing on the progress of the action. They have the 
tamp of official exactness, remarkable consideration for ally and enemy, 
md unusual objectivity. Moreover their author indicates a contact with 
:olonial cross-currents that corroborates and sometimes improves our under- 
;tanding of that complex period. He makes clear, for example, how our 
nilitary possessed exceptional foreknowledge of British designs, whence 
ve were able to outdo our opponents in psychological tactics and occasion- 
dly to undermine their own organization. His reports, too, light up the 
British war potential of that period. In the summer of 1775 George III 
lad at the most eighteen thousand effective land troops in the various 
garrisons of the homeland, and recmiting found no sympathy or interest. 
Overseas her units lay dispersed in negligible strength. But on the sea 
tself she sailed the world with mastery. The Yorktown campaign, with 
"rench De Grasse in unbreakable blockade, was a highly exceptional maritime 
letback. Her men of war — and her commercial bent — made the sea her 
lome. The land war in the broad stretches of the colonies found her in 
leed of foreign aid. 

Major Baurmeister does not question the propriety of mercenary serv- 
ces. He and his men were acting on military orders of an eighteenth 
:entury tone. Nor does he question the policy. His viewpoint is entire 
oyalty to the top command. He shares the British amazement in that sub- 
ects should disobey their rulers. When he remarks the problem of learning 
British intentions, of the waste and possible peculation before General Carle- 
on took over control of operations, he nevertheless details the events of the 
:ontest as an English effort. In this he naturally fails to appreciate colonial 
uccesses. Thus he chronicles with thoroughness the capture of numberless 
arizes by the strong arm of the service, the navy under Howe and Hood, 
ind it is only in his letter of April 13, 1783, that he speaks of our threat 
)n the sea in this significant clause: "Since ships can now make the trip 
Europe in safety." 

Washington's generalship merits constant approbation, as does his 
nagnificent personality, though this regard is seriously strained in one case 
)f threatened punishment of a Hessian refugee who committed a serious 
:rime. Other colonials are recorded as the record ran: the Conway affair, 
Slew England's separatism in point of tax-collections and recruiting of 
oldiers, Pennsylvania driving Congress to Princeton, Indian barbarities 
ipping up the western front. Loyalists up and down the line. For Con- 
gress his mood vacillates between the adjectives "great" and "villainous." 
From the outset he sees the rebellious people preparing their own destruc- 
:ion in their divisions of opinion and the wasting of the countryside be- 
:ore the advancing Redcoats. In early 1777 he hopes for victory and an 
;arly return home, and the mood never changes. No matter if the defeat 
3f Cornwallis cleared the whole central sector from further threat, he still 


finds the great fleet able to turn the issue. Calmly his last letter, froir 
Portsmouth, England, he reports the trip homeward. 

From these letters and their revelations of the military mind, it i; 
plain that the conflict with the Thirteen Colonies was only part of a fai 
wider struggle, the drive for complete mastery of the seas with its connota^ 
tion of commercial development by sea-control and of imperial holdings 
And the great wars of the French Revolution are already begun in th( 
royal navy's first interest of destroying the Bourbon fleets, garrisons, har- 
bors and naval stations in the heart-land of that day, the Caribbean Sea. 

W. Eugene Shiels 
Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio 

The Intellectual Life of Colonial New England. By Samuel Eliot Morison 
New York University Press, New York, 1956. Pp. x, 288. $4.95. 

The Legend of the Fotmding Fathers. By Wesley Frank Craven. Ne'w 
York University Press, New York, 1956. Pp. vi, 191. $4.50. 

The reprinting of Professor Morison's The Puritan Pronaos under its 
new title is most welcome. In the near quarter of a century since this bool 
first appeared, the study of American intellectual history has become ar 
increasingly erudite and sophisticated craft. Thus this book does not equal 
in nuance and complex analysis the studies of The Neiv England Mina 
by Professor Morison's younger colleague. Professor Perry Miller. This 
study is, nevertheless, an indispensable reconstruction of the frameworli 
of Puritan intellectual activity. Concentrating on the institutional and ma- 
terial elements of this framework, Professor Morison briefly sketches in the 
English and religious inheritance of the colonies. From here in a quid 
but concrete fashion he retells the story of the colleges, the public and 
grammar schools, private and public libraries, the sermons, the historica] 
literature, and finally the scientific curiosity of the Puritan generations of the 
seventeenth century. 

Professor Morison's sense of the appropriate detail gives this bool; 
its great value. Here one learns not only of the legal beginnings of 
Hars^ard College but also that the steward of the college was frequently 
required to accept as fees "firewood, lumber, tallow, wax, turnips, and 
live goats. ..." Again the content of the Grammar schools curricula is sup- 
ported by a list of the "Books Owned by the Pupils in the Boston Latin and 
Other New England Grammar Schools." Similarly it is intriguing to be 
reminded that the Boston bookseller John Usher could supply his customers 
with such books as Coke's Reports, The Boatsivaine's Art, or the complete 
Boatsivajne, Hannah Woley's Queen-Uke Closet, or rich Cabinet, stored 
with all manner of rare Receipts for preserving, Candying, and Cookery. 
Very pleasant and beneficial to all Ingenious persons of the Female Sex; 
and for light reading they could take home The English Rogue, compre- 
hending the most eminent Cheats of both Sexes. 


Professor Morison's book is not distinguished by its explicit interpre- 
ative analysis. He is content to deny the myths which have presented the 
^uritans in a dark and unattractive image. The myth he prefers is identi- 
ied in his last sentence where he concludes, "Primitive New England is the 
orch to the temple; a puritan pro?iaos as it were to the American mind of 
he nineteenth century, and of today." 

The purpose of Professor Wesley Frank Craven's book is to trace 
listorically the development and ramifications of the varying myths con- 
erning our Puritan ancestors from the days of the Puritans themselves until 
he time of historians like Professors Morison and Miller. It is Professor 
raven's view that Puritans have successfully defeated the Revolutionary 
athers in their bid to become the favorite ancestors in America's dreams 
oncerning its origins and destiny. 

In recounting this tale he offers an explanation for the failure of 
Virginia to rob the New Englander's of their exalted position. He observes 
Iso that the Revolution celebrations of the Fourth of July at first tended to 
lepress interest in the New England founding fathers. Eventually these 
roused new and intense interest in this beginning of what was construed 
s the source of the Revolutionary tradition. In mid-nineteenth century, 
outhern writers and statesmen once again challenged the Yankee distor- 
ions of history. To protect the Puritan legend John G. Palfrey brought up 
he heavy guns of his History of Netv England, of which the first of five 
olumes was published on the eve of the Civil War. In the decades follow- 
ng the Civil War, New Englanders and Virginians were no longer alone 
n their pursuit of America's unique beginnings. New organizations such 
s the Sons and Daughters of the Revolution had to bear the competition 
)f patriots enlisted in The American— Irish Historical Society. Of the two 
ocieties perhaps that created by the Hibernians proved the more tolerant, 
"or as one of its earliest chairmen, Thomas J. Gargan, declared: "We respect 
he Germans, the French, the Italians, and the genuine Scotchman; but for 
hat masquerading misnomer, the Scotch-Irishman, who claims no ancestry 
ind no country as his own, we have only contempt; and he will go down 
;o posterity as he deserves, 'unwept, unhonored, and unsung.' " 

In the period following the First World War the professional his- 
orian became the primary custodians of the New England legacy. Profes- 
ior Craven has delicately assessed their employment of this high trust. He 
limself is definitely on the side of the professors, for he concludes his book 
vith a plea that patriotic societies exhibit a little restraint in pouring money 
nto historical reconstructions and instead give some for the training of 
graduate students in American history. The value of Professor Craven's 
30ok, like that of Professor Morison's, lies in the wealth of detail and 
larrative skill. His interpretations are unlikely to evoke either patriotic or 
cholarly ire. 

Edward T. Gargan 
Loyola University, Chicago 


Worship and W^ork. By Colman J. Barry, O.S.B. St. John's Abbey, College- 
ville, Minnesota, 1956. Pp. 447. $5.00. 

It has often been stated that the history of American Catholicism can- 
not definitely be presented as a whole until countless smaller areas of en- 
deavor have been adequately searched out. It is in this latter respect that 
Father Colman Barry has made a definite contribution. Anniversary books 
can sometimes be as unhistorical as Herodotus in his u41der moments, and 
not nearly as interesting. The author of the present volume has tried hard 
to tell his story tuie es eigentlkh geivesen ist and at the same time make the 
matter interesting. We think he has succeeded to an admirable degree 
in both. 

The main purpose of the book is to tell the story of St. John's Abbey 
from the time of its foundation to the present. The coming of the Cas- 
sinese Congregation of Benedictines to the United States under Father, 
later Abbot, Wimmer, their settling in Pennsylvania, the Minnesota founda- 
tion and its early struggles are all dealt with in turn. Interesting pages 
treat of the missionary activities of the Benedictines, their aid rendered to 
the farmers in agricultural affairs, their interest in the liturg}' and the work 
of men like Father Virgil in promoting liturgical-mindedness among Cath- 
olics. Of special interest to educators will be the sections dealing with the 
beginnings of St. John's College and its development into an outstanding 
school of higher learning. Here it should be pointed out that Father Barry 
has taken the attitude that the truth if properly told will not hurt. Good 
pioneers are bound to be men of strong wills; and strong wills sometimes 
bring about misunderstandings. The Minnesota Benedictines had their 
share of sturdy pioneers. Their misunderstandings — specifically the Abbot 
Alexius incident — are treated candidly and yet in such a way that in the 
end one can only sympathize with the hardships of the pioneers and admire 
them for the good they accomplished in spite of their little human failings. 

Worship and Work would be worth while if it told only the story 
of St. John's. However it does more than that. It throws interesting light 
on Catholic, particularly German Catholic participation in early American 
life. Throughout the book such items as bigotry, lay trusteeism, early 
schooling and social life in general are touched upon. A glimpse is given 
of the westward movement from Minnesota into the Dakotas and the steps 
to the Pacific coast. The work of Catholics among the Indians of the 
early West is not neglected. 

The book has a few faults that grate just a bit. For one thing it gives 
the impression of being slightly repetitious at times. Again, the remark 
about Brother Patrick, "who did not have any beer at hand, drank too much 
water and became sick," (P. 29) is somewhat on the homely side. Further- 
more, most readers of the book will perhaps be sufficiently acquainted with 
the Abbey grounds, buildings and landmarks to recognize them on the 
pictures. A complete stranger has to rely on captions; and while the cap- 
tions are marked, the pictures though excellent in themselves are not. 

Father Barry has supplied us with a well written account of the Bene- 


dictines in Minnesota. The broadness of its concept will make the book 
interesting to most readers; natives of Minnesota and points west will find 
it particularly so. 

Herman J. Muller 
The University of Detroit 

The ]ournals of Welcome Arnold Greene: The Voyages of the Brigantine 
Perseverance 1817—1820. Edited by Howard Greene and Alice E. 
Smith. The State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison, 1956. 
Pp. vii, 221. Illustrated. $5.00. 

There are two manuscript journals and a mass of correspondence of 
Welcome A. Greene in the State Historical Society of Wisconsin which have 
ong been waiting the pleasure of Mr. Howard Greene for publication. Now, 
with the capable aid of Alice Smith, grandson Greene has edited the journals 
and many letters of grandfather Greene in very good print and format. 
Among the illustrations, which include an artistic endsheet map of the 
journeys, is a facsimile of the title page in beautiful script, reading: "Jour- 
nal of a Voyage in the Brig Perseverance of Providence R.I. kept by Wel- 
come A. Greene for his own amusement. Commenced 17th of the 4th 
Month 1817. Ended 21st of 10th Month 1818." It is very surprising 
to find a youth of twenty-one writing shrewd, interesting observations in 
an accurate and at times in a very literary style. 

What the young Quaker Welcome wrote about may not be of world- 
rocking import, but his letters and journals may be quite interesting to 
seafaring men of the merchant class and to students seeking information on 
conditions during the period of the Latin American revolts from Spain and 
Portugal. The young commercial agent sailed on a rather unseaworthy 
brig out of Providence for Hampton Roads where he loaded a cargo com- 
posed of 105 hogsheads of tobacco, 18,700 white oak barrel staves, 7,032 
hogshead staves, and 108 coils of cordage. It was his business to sell these 
in Europe in the face of considerable competition from other merchants 
and to buy sundry products as fish, liquor, lime, in Norway for disposal 
in Gibraltar and Cadiz, and in these latter places to buy wine, salt, Spanish 
gold coins, and other items for sale in Brasil and the Plata area. There he 
purchased dried beef for the return voyage by way of Havana where sugar, 
rum, and molasses were taken on for Rhode Island. Welcome received two 
per centum commission. The costs of repairing the brig at every port 
and losses of parts of the cargoes due to water getting into the salt and 
lime, or rats gnawing holes in the wine or molasses casks, or beef decaying, 
and burials of members of the crew, each cut down on the profit from 
the ventures. Welcome returned from Havana on another ship and when 
the Perseverance finally limped into Providence the Arnold Company "saw 
no inducement to fit her out immediately for another voyage." Neither did 
Welcome ever more find any inducement to get out on the high seas. 

Jerome V. Jacobsen 
Loyola University, Chicago 

Notes and Comments 

Peter Masten Dunne - In Memoriam 

Peter Masten Dunne, S.J., well known for his writings on the 
missions and missionaries of the Pacific Slope, passed away on 
January 16, 1957, in the sixty-seventh year of his life. He was at 
the time chairman of the department of history at the University of 
San Francisco and two weeks before his death he had completed a 
year as president of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American 
Historical Association. Though in the final stages of cancer he 
undertook the journey to the meeting of the Association during the 
Christmas holidays to read his address, knowing fully the short 
span of life that remained for him. 

Father Dunne was born April 16, 1889, at San Jose, California, 
and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Santa 
Clara. He entered the Jesuit Order on July 20, 1906, at Los Gatos 
where he spent the first five years of his religious training. These 
years were followed by seminary courses in philosophy and the 
arts leading to a master's degree at Gonzaga University, and by 
several years teaching at the high school level. He was sent to 
Hastings, England, for his courses in theology. There he was or- 
dained on August 24, 1921, after the third year of his studies. In 
1923 he was instructor in history at the Los Gatos Seminary. This 
was followed by a year's study in history and education at Columbia 
University, a year as instructor at the University of Santa Clara, and 
five years instructorship in the Jesuit Seminary at Los Gatos. He 
joined the department of history of the University of San Francisco 
in 1931. He was given leave of absence in 1934 and 1935 to pursue 
his studies in the graduate school of the University of California, 
Berkeley, which conferred on him the doctor's degree in 1935. 

In the course of his thirty years as professor he had occasion 
to visit many of the Latin American countries to gather materials 
for his lectures and scholarly writings. His articles have appeared 
in Mid-America and in other historical magazines. His ten pub- 
lished books include a series on the advance of the Jesuit missions 
from Sinaloa, Mexico, to Arizona. These are: Pioneer Black Robes 
of the West Coast (1940), Pioneer ]esmts in Northern Mexico 


(1944), Early Jesuit AUssions in Tarahumara (1948), Andres Perez 
ie Ribas (1951), Black Robes in Lower California (1952), Jacobo 
Sedelmayer, Alissionary, Frontiersman, Explorer in Arizona and 
Sonora (1955). His A Padre Vieius South America (1945) had 
the distinction of being banned in two of the South American 
countries whose dictators did not relish Father Dunne's promotion 
of the North American idea of the party system, compromise and 
tolerance of the opinions of others, so notably lacking in the said 
ountries. — J.V.J. 

The Cavalry of Christ on the Rio Grande, by Bernard Doyen, 
O.M.I., published late in 1956 by Bruce in Milwaukee, is a nugget 
of pure ore pointing up a phase of the great story of western ex- 
pansion in America. The field is the extreme south of Texas, 
the triangle bounded by Galveston, San Antonio and Laredo as 
the northern base, and its apex the Brownsville area. The time is 
from the end of Lone Star Republic days to 1883. The actors 
are a significant religious force — the Oblates of Mary Immaailate — 
who in 1849 sent their first detachment to join in the building of 
frontier society. From Brownsville they radiated their energies 
into Mexico for 100 miles along the lower Rio Grande and south- 
ward as far as the neighborhood of the capital. North of the great 
river they spread light and mercy throughout the triangle in a strug- 
gle against raw human nature that had no sizable interest in faith 
or worship until these redoubtable missionaries fenced them in 
and tamed them into responsible citizens. 

Turner in his famous study noted the tendency of the frontier 
toward vulgarization, or, more simply, toward a loss of ailture. 
The documentary picture painted in this volume shows the need 
in that society for what Theodore Roosevelt called "some civiliza- 
tion." Indeed the Oblates had no notion of themselves as significant 
historical forces nor even as agents of culture. Their aim was more 
direct, for they were dedicated men of God. Yet a careful reading 
of the text enforces that universal moral of the civilizing power 
of honest religious living. 

Doctor Doyon presents a tale drawn completely from first-hand 
materials. He describes the call of Bishop Odin for helpers, and 
the response from the Marseilles Congregation with outposts in 
Canada. In our northern neighbor these Fathers opened up history 


in many a broad area, and if they liad not been so intrepid and 
courageous they would never have sent part of their complement 
of men so far south as the vv^ild environs of the triangle of Texas. 
Once there life was most precarious, and its risks came partly from 
their own insecurity of possession and the difficulty of satisfactory 
communication with headquarters in southern France. Almost at 
the point of extinction, authorities turned in their favor and after 
1883 they were to enjoy decades and excellent success down to 
our day. 

For a student of the frontier, it must be obvious that the support 
of so highly organized a religion as the Catholic Church is almost 
impossible in the days of early settlement. Men with vows of 
poverty have no economic ground to walk on. They can claim 
no range with their guns, nor do they take out time to run thou- 
sands of cattle on even the meagre hope of selling them somewhere 
and from the profit endov/ing their ministerial efforts. And unless 
they are part of a large and closely-knit organization, they cannot 
call for or get the aid on the spot that is necessary to survival. How 
the Oblates ever made out will puzzle the historian, unless he un- 
derstands thoroughly the type of man he is studying and the de- 
termination and sense of mission held by these unique characters. 
They met the test, and they are still masters of the field. 

This book is well written, and carefully annotated. Nevertheless 
it has need of closer relevance to the church history of Texas and 
the West. As it is, it constitutes rather the material for part of a 
larger history than a treatise standing by itself. There is, too, a 
somewhat overdue attention to the special spiritual message of the 
Congregation, and perhaps too little stress on what the mission did 
to make the church on the frontier. But there is no doubt that the 
work will be brought under contribution by later studies of the 
broader subject. W. E. Shiels. 

The first hundred years of the life span of St. Francis Seminary, 
Milwaukee, have been described by The Right Reverend Monsignor 
Peter Leo Johnson in Halcyon Days 1836-1936. Long associated 
with the faculty as professor of history, editor of Tbe Salesianmn, 
and director of the Historical Studies and of the archives Monsignor 
Johnson is exceptionally well qualified to write this centennial 


volume in an authoritative and sympathetic manner. Since his original 
appointment to the faculty in 1920 he has been witness to the growth 
of the institution and has been scrupulous in collecting documentary 
materials pertaining to its rise and its influence, to its alumni, of 
whom thirty-four became bishops and six archbishops, and the trials 
and works of most of the clergy of the Archdiocese of Mihvaukee. 

The Salesianum, as St. Francis Seminar}^ was first known, v/as 
born of the pressing need in the third and fourth decades of the 
last century to supply priests for the spiritual needs of the thou- 
sands of German Catholics streaming to the land of their adoption 
in the middle-west. During the years 1844 to 1864 well over 200,000 
Catholics arrived in Wisconsin, the majority from Germany. These, 
as Monsignor Johnson shows in his introductory chapter, were almost 
without religious services or attention owing to the paucity of Ger- 
man speaking clergy in Europe and in America and to the lack of 
vocations in the middle states. Bishop Henni during his episcopate 
at Cincinnati was unable to establish a seminary especially designed 
to train a native, bilingual clergy, nor was he able to make much 
progress during the first ten years of his incumbency as Bishop 
of Milwaukee. By 1854, however, he had laid the cornerstones 
by establishing academies and preparatory seminaries and by getting 
promising students from the German and Irish settlers and from the 
old countries. With German and Austrian financial aid the great 
day of the laying of the cornerstone of the special seminary, July 
15, 1855, witnessed civic and religious celebrations in the German 
and English tongues. Classes were opened under an unfinished 
roof in January, 1856. Ten years of struggle through the times 
of the Civil War conclude the first six chapters of the volume, 
chapters full of interest for students of pioneer days in Wisconsin 
and particularly Milwaukee. 

The remaining thirteen chapters follow a topical order tracing 
the developments of the curriculum, the library, the academic socie- 
ties, oratory, the stage and drama, the philosophical and theological 
studies and faculties, the spiritual training in both preparatory and 
major seminaries, the several v^ar interruptions and programs, the 
finances, the administration, the building programs and construc- 
tions, the alumni, and a chapter on the great help of the Sisters of 
St. Francis in their care of the domestic economy. The chapters 
are dotted with short biographical sketches of men most prominent 
in the developments. Thus, in some four hundred pages and with 


many illustrations, Monsignor Johnson fills out in a pleasing style 
a well-rounded picture of the training of the Wisconsin clergy over 
the century. The publisher is Bruce of Milwaukee and the list 
price is five dollars. 

The Land Called Chicora, by Paul Quattlebaum, has a more 
descriptive subtitle, "The Carolinas Under Spanish Rule, with French 
Intrusions, 152(>-l670." The author, a native of South Carolina, 
compresses the fruits of his long years of research into this volume 
of 152 pages, of which 120 pages are devoted to the history of 
explorations and settlements along the southeast coast of the United 
States. In this readable history interest is centered upon the coloniz- 
ing expedition of Lucas Vasquez de Aylion in 1526, which imme- 
diately involved the author in the problems of locating the site 
of the settlement, the site of Chicora, and the river which was called 
the Jordan. 

For the solution of the problems Quattlebaum turns to a study 
of the documents published by Woodbury Lowery and Navarrete 
and the contemporary accounts in Oviedo and Peter Martyr to find 
clues. He scans the old charts and maps, four of which are re- 
produced. Occasional references are made to secondary writers, 
but chiefly as authorities in areas not directly pertinent to his study, 
as Lowery for the Florida scene, Lanning for the Georgia mission 
area, and Lewis and Loomie for the early Virginia story. Besides, 
he employs some plain common sense and his long observation of 
the region to good advantage. After all details were assessed and 
evaluated he gives cautiously the most probable and most plausible 
locations. The River Jordan, the first aim of the Aylion expedition, 
seems to be the mouth of the Cape Fear River. The landing was 
made at present Southport, North Carolina, whence by land and 
sea the colony moved west to South Carolina, then turned south- 
west to the tip of Waccamaw Neck across from present Georgetown, 
South Carolina. There the doomed settlement was made and called 
San Miguel de Gualdape, on the east shore of the Gualdape River 
(now the mouth of the Peedee- Waccamaw) and not far from the 
northern shore of Winyah Bay (nor far from the present Hobcaw 
Barony home of Bernard M. Baruch, Quattlebaum thinks) . Chicora, 
Ayllon's tragic grant, embraced the two Carolina's. 


The general history describes the coastal explorations, the Span- 
ish and French conflicts, and the arrival of the English, while a 
closing chapter gives a brief description of the Indians and their 
mores in Chicora. There are three illustrations and an excellent 
endpaper map of the general and particular coastal areas. Six Ap- 
pendixes precede the Bibliography and Index. The Universit}^ of 
Florida Press, the publisher and printer, has presented a fine format 
and type. The list price of the work is $3.75. 

In 1953 Stephen B. Sarasohn submitted his doctoral dissertation 
to the faculties of Columbia University and when it was approved 
had it filmed by University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, under title of 
"The Regulation of Parties and Nominations in Michigan: The 
Politics of Political Reform." He joined the Department of Po- 
litical Science at Wayne State University. Dr. Sarasohn was busy 
preparing another work based upon his dissertation when he died 
at the age of thirty in January, 1955, leaving his research unfinished 
after 1952. His wife, Vera H. Sarasohn, also a member of the same 
Department of Political Science has outlined the plan and has brought 
the story of Michigan politics to 1956. This year, 1957, it has 
been published in paper cover as one of the Wayne State University 
Studies as Political Party Patterns in AUchigan and is available at 
the Wayne State University Press, Detroit, for a dollar and seventy- 
five cents. 

The seventy pages of text in the book describe the development 
of Michigan politics during this century from the period of domi- 
nance by factions of the votes for state governor and United States 
senator to what now appears to be a two-party system. From the 
end of the last century such powerful factions as the McMillan 
Alliance, the Green Alliance, the McKay-McKeighan-Barnard Alli- 
ance, and the Summerfield Alliance controlled the Republican Party, 
the nominations, the appointments and the legislation. In the 1940's 
and 1950's the Democrat Party supported by the Van Wagoner 
Organization and the ClO-liberal Alliance and now more recently 
by the combined automotive interests and workers seems to have 
the upper hand. Disregarding the higher offices and the state 
and national candidates the UAW-CIO have put their power and 


resources behind the election of local candidates and have concen- 
trated on the policies and promises of social and economic benefits. 
The sources for the information in the book are almost entirely news- 
papers of Michigan, particularly those of Detroit. 

* * 

Scholars and readers who like to have proof for statements made 
in books will look with raised eyebrows at what seems to be a 
revolt against footnotes in The Early Jackson Party in Ohio, by 
Professor Harry R. Stevens of Duke University. In the Bibliog- 
raphical Note we read: "Documentation in this volume has been 
kept to a minimum. The nature of the information in it usually 
points to the general area in which the source may be found." He 
explains that all the present bibliographical aids and library facil- 
ities seem to remove footnote obligations on scholarly publications. 
Besides it is more costly to print footnotes; manuscript depositories 
are listed in the preface and published sources can be found in major 
research libraries. The result is that there are 48 footnotes in the 
164 pages of the text, only two of which cite published books, three 
in number. This is not to say that the author lacks authority. 
Rather, his nine years of research on this subject are evident in the 
vast amount of factual data compressed into the volume, though 
scholars would prefer to know more about the contents of many 
of the manuscript files from which the data were culled. In particu- 
lar, one would wish more information on the following: "One of 
the most exciting adventures was the discovery of the secret archives 
of an important Tammany lodge, archives long thought never to 
have existed at all." (P. 166.) 

The preface must be read if one is to understand what seem 
to be important omissions in the book. Dr. Stevens restricts himself 
to the formation of one political party, in one state, to the organiza- 
tion of the Jackson party beginning with 1821 and ending at the 
end of July, 1824, without reference to the election following, or 
to the organization of the Clay and Adams parties. While the 
subject is a political party, the story is not exclusively political, but 
concerned with men of Ohio who were of a variety of non-political 
occupations. This fact led the blurb wTiter to characterize the 
volume as "A story of striving, frustration, blunders, of the com- 


bined efforts of many differing personalities often at cross purposes, 
leading at last to . . . the creation of our national political party 

The personalities are first the interesting Moses Dawson v/ho 
escaped the hangman's noose in Belfast, arrived at Philadelphia 
to be an organizer of Lancaster schools, and in 1817 became a 
teacher in the Lancaster Seminary in Cincinnati. Next are General 
"Tippecanoe" Harrison and lawyer James Gazlay, rivals for the seat 
in the state senate until the failure of the Miami Bank in Cincinnati. 
Appearing on the financial and political scene were Elijah Hayward, 
David Wade, Judge Hooker, John Piatt, and General Findlay, The 
political individualism, turbulence, lack of focus and aims through- 
out the state through the election of 1820 are made quite clear in 
the opening three chapters. The rest of the book is devoted to the 
Jackson part formation and in conclusion Chapter XIII is a neat 
summary of Dr. Stevens' findings and reflections. The list price of 
the book is $4.50 at Duke University Press. 

The Strait of An'ian is a thirteen page brochure accompanying 
"An exhibit of three maps in the James Ford Bell Collection at the 
University of Minnesota, portraying sixteenth and eighteenth cen- 
tury concepts of the waterway between Asia and America, which 
is now known as the Bering Strait." The three maps most im- 
portant to the history of the search for and the discovery of the 
narrow passage separating Siberia from Alaska are Camocio's map 
of western North America, drawn between 1562 and 1565, Zaltieri's 
map, dated 1566, and Captain Vitus Bering's map of his expedition 
of 1725-1730 across Siberia to Bering's Strait. These three maps 
are beautifully reproduced, the latter in color. It is the only copy 
known to have come to America and is one of the t\vo outside Russia 
to bear the Romanoff coat of arms. 

A new journal to be called Victorian Studies is to be published 
by Indiana University under the editorship of Philip Appleman, 
William Madden, and Michael Wolff. The quarterly which is to 


begin in the Autumn of this year has as its purpose the examination 
of Victorian culture in all of its forms, and it will carry articles in 
any of the humanities, arts and sciences, as well as notes, comments, 
and queries. It intends to effect a coordination of the various aca- 
demic disciplines toward an examination and appreciation of the 
period. Besides the book review section it will publish an annual 
bibliography and will have pages given to a forum for discussing 
controversial issues. The subscription rate will be five dollars a year 
in this country and thirt}'-five shillings in England. Manuscript con- 
tributions and all communications should be addressed to The 
Editors, Victorian Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. 


An Historical Review 





Published by Loyola University 
Chicago 26, Illinois 


An Historical Review 


An Historical Review 

JULY 1957 




PROGRESSIVISM, 1911-1914 . . . Herbert F. Margulies 131 





OF WOODROW WILSON Monroe Billington 180 







Published quarterly by Loyola University (The Institute of Jesuit History) 
at 50 cents a copy. Annual subscription, $2.00; in foreign countries, $2.50. 
Publication and editorial offices at Loyola University, 6525 Sheridan Road, 
Chicago 26, Illinois. All communications should be addressed to the Manag- 
ing Editor. Entered as second class matter, August 7, 1929, at the post 
office at Chicago, Illinois, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Additional entry 
as second class matter at the post office at Effingham, Illinois. Printed in 
the United States. 


An Historical Review 

JULY 1957 


The Decline of 
Wisconsin Progressivism, 1911-1914 

The long period of Progressive domination in Wisconsin, marked 
)y the personality of Robert M. La Follette and an imposing battery 
)f reform legislation, was brought to an abrupt halt in 1914. The 

lection as governor of Emanuel Philipp, a refrigerator car magnate 
vho had long been closely associated with the major Wisconsin 

ailroads in opposition to the Progressives, most decisively signaled 

le end of the era. Philipp was described by La Folette as late as 
1913 as "an out and out corporation man."^ Along with Philipp, 
m anti-Progressive majority assumed control of the legislature. At 

le same time, the electorate decisively rejected ten constitutional 
imendments supported by the Progressives, including proposals 

or initiative, referendum and a modified recall. Nor was the Pro- 
gressive setback an accidental, highly transitory thing. Though 
!.a Follette secured reelection in 1916, so too did Philipp and his 
zonservative cohorts in the legislature. It was not until 1920, after 
World War I had buried old issues and scrambled factional lines 
that the pro-La Follette group regained any substantial share of 

The significance of the 1914 defeat has been minimized in the 
most recent scholarship. Fola La Follette writes: "The split in the 
progressive Republican forces had enabled the Stalwarts to nomin- 
ate Philipp for governor, although the official returns showed that 

1 Robert M. La Follette, La Follette's Autobiography: A Personal 
Narrative of Political Experiences, Madison, 1913, 229. 

2 Herbert F. Margulies, "Issues and Politics of Wisconsin Progi'essiv- 
ism, 1906-1920," unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Wisconsin, 
1955, 378-415. 



out of 125,000 Republican votes he had received only a third. All 
the other state officers were renominated over their reactionary 
opponents. . . ."^ Robert Maxwell joins in placing Philipp's victory 
solely in the context of Progressive division.* They are referring, 
of course, to the deep split in the ranks that occurred when Governor 
Francis E. McGovern and Senator La FoUette came into open con- 
flict at the 1912 Republican National Convention. While both 
authors recognize that the Progressives suffered a serious blow in 
1914, they apparently do not appreciate just how serious it was.^ 

It is quite true that Philipp's nomination resulted in part from 
division among men who had been known as Progressives. But 
Progressive division does not explain the results in the Democratic 
party primary, in which the rabidly anti-Progressive John C. Karel 
won the nomination for governor against the more liberal John 
A. Aylward.^ Nor can internal division explain the repudiation of 
the constitutional amendments, or the election of an anti-Progressive 
legislature. Finally, the very poor showing of John J. Blaine, La 
FoUette's independent candidate for Governor, remains to be ex- 

Nor is it even true, as Miss La Follette and Dr. Maxwell contend, 
that a majority of the votes cast in the Republican gubernatorial 
primary were "Progressive" in any meaningful sense of the word. 
One of the five candidates who divided the "Progressive" vote, 
Henry Roethe, had been a Progressive of the most dubious sort. 
Roethe, a small town editor who polled over twelve thousand votes, 
was the first of the candidates, including Philipp himself, to raise 
the conservative cry against taxes, extravagance and commissions. 
In June of 1914, he addressed the very anti-tax, anti-spending con- 
vention that nominated Philipp.^ A State Senator who served with 
him on the finance committee considered Roethe "a dyed in the 

3 Belle Case La Follette and Fola La Follette, Robert M. La Follette, 
2 vols., New York, 1953, 1, 506. 

4 Robert M. Maxwell, La Follette and the Rise of the Progressives in 
Wisconsin, Madison, 1956, 192-193. 

5 Of course. Miss La FoUette's attention is centered on the national 
events with which Senator La Follette was preoccupied. Her statements 
bearing on the Wisconsin situation are therefore of a relatively casual, 
background nature. 

6 The Progressive versus Stalwart contest so dramatically waged 
within the Republican party had its counterpart in the Democratic party 
through the years. Democratic factionalism has not been closely studied 
only because the Republican party was dominant in the state. Neverthe- 
less, the Democratic primaries were often as reflective of public sentiment 
as the Republican. 

7 Wisconsin State Journal, June 23, 1914. 


vool Stalwart."^ and the Wisconsin Society of Equity, a Progressive 
'armers organization, omitted his name, along with Philipp's, from 
list of acceptable candidates.^ 

Andrew Dahl, William Hatton, Merlin Hull and Bruce Utman 
lad stronger claims than did Roethe to the label "Progressive." With 
the exception of the little-known Utman, however, these claims 
were based more on their records prior to 1914 than on their state- 
ments during the 1914 primary campaign. Analysis of the cam- 
paign planks of the serious "Progressive" contenders, Dahl, Hatton 
and Hull, reveals that they acquiesced in many of the conservative 
complaints lodged most persuasively by Philipp. Distinctively pro- 
gressive issues were available, but of all the candidates only Utman, 
a political outsider who polled the fewest votes, campaigned largely 
on these issues. The campaign appeals of the so-called Progressives 
is, in fact, the most striking testimony to the strength of conservative 
sentiment in 1914. The election of Philipp was not merely the 
result of Progressive division. On the contrary, it reflected a far 
graver wound. A majority of Wisconsin voters had become thor- 
oughly disillusioned with Progressivism. 

This disillusionment revealed the basic limitation of Progressiv- 
ism in Wisconsin. In a sense, the reservations held by a majority 
of the electorate towards some phases of the Progressive movement, 
by setting permissible limits to reform, gave definition to the move- 
ment itself. 

Certain underlying weaknesses in the Progressive phalanx had 
already been revealed in the period 1906 through 1909. The Pro- 
gressives had fought for and become committed to the direct primary, 
along with the repudiation of conventions, caucuses and all other 
marks of "boss rule." But this commitment seriously hurt the La 
FoUette forces when they sought to themselves achieve unity. An- 
other limitation was the nationality appeal, directed especially to 
the Norwegian-Americans of the state. The successful revolt of 
James O. Davidson in 1906 exposed the flimsiness of that reed. 
Finally, the strategy of constant political warfare, which La FoUette 
deemed essential, was not approved by a large number of other 
Progressive Republicans, who desired party unity. However, these 
and lesser disabilities were overcome by the fact of rising living 

8 Henry Huber to H. E. G. Keup, September 24, 1915, Henry Huber 
Letterbooks, Wisconsin Historical Society Library. (All manuscript col- 
lections cited are at the same repository.) 

9 Janesville Gazette, August 22, 1914. 


costs together with new issues generated on the national scene. Thus, 
in 1910, the Progressives scored one of their greatest victories. -^^ 

The new lease on life gave some of the Progressives the oppor- 
tunity to develop aspects of reform that had previously been only 
latent. As they did so, new elements of discord within the move- 
ment gradually became apparent. To some extent, the renewed 
factionalism that plagued the Progressives increasingly after 1912 
was truly the result of a clash of personalities and ambitions. But 
the personal factor was only a part, and probably a lesser part, of 
the overall story. Basic to the internal discord and general weaken- 
ing of the Progressive movement in the state was the fundamental 
division of opinion within the Progressive faction itself as to the very 
nature of the movement. Some of this conflict of view had been 
evident prior to 1910. Much of it did not become apparent until 
after 1911. 

The elements of weakness pointed to in the earlier period con- 
tributed to the deterioration of Progressive strength. The problem 
of the primary continued unsolved, despite enactment of a law al- 
lowing a second choice vote. Progressive failure to unite in 1914 
was due in part to lack of a formal mechanism for achieving unity. 
Progressive votes were indeed divided, to the advantage of Philipp, 
though to a lesser degree than some have claimed. The nationality 
question was not so obvious a source of embarrassment as it had 
been, largely because the Stalwarts, for reasons of their own, aban- 
doned James O. Davidson without replacing him with an equally 
popular Norwegian. But, as Gerd Korman has demonstrated, the 
German-Americans remained quite nationality-conscious, and when 
some of them allied with La FoUette, it was on their terms, not 
his.^^ Opposition to La FoUette because he created discord within 
the party, an important issue in 19O6 and 1908, was also less promi- 
nent, but only because newer complaints occupied the minds of 
disgruntled voters, both Stalwart and Progressive. Paradoxically, 
the political resurgence of the Stalwarts resulted from the new 
legislative achievements of the Progressives. Rather guilelessly, as 
it developed, the Progressives dug their own political graves. 

The cost of living question, which had aroused voter discontent 
and promoted Progressive revival in 1910, gave impetus to several 

10 Marguilies, "Issues and Politics," 139-178. 

11 Gerd Korman, "Political Loyalties, Immigrant Traditions and Re- 
form: The Wisconsin German-American Press and Progressivism, 1909- 
1912," Wisconsin Magazine of History, XL (Spring, 1957), 161-171. 


economic reforms. The newly created Board of Affairs advanced 
many grandiose schemes for cooperatives of several sorts in the con- 
text of the cost of living problem.^- The Milwaukee Free Press 
remarked ruefully "The unrest, the dissatisfaction of the times, the 
eagerness of so large a portion of the people for all sorts of subver- 
sive or at least dubious experiments and panaceas in government 
are largely assignable to the constantly mounting cost of the neces- 
sities of life."^"* For some of the most influential Progressives, 
however, the cost of living complaint was but a convenient excuse 
for reforms deemed desirable for other and more fundamental 
reasons. The spirit of optimism and the desire for change permeated 
the American intellectual community during the Progressive years 
and informed the La Follette movement in Wisconsin. 

Madison's State Street was a much used thoroughfare during the 
Progressive era, for it connected the University of Wisconsin with 
the state capitol building. Traffic moved in both directions. John 
R. Commons, Balthasar Meyer, Richard T. Ely, Charles R. Van 
Hise and many other University scholars gave advice and sometimes 
administrative service to the state. La Follette and many of his 
most trusted lieutenants, in turn, were devoted alumni of the Uni- 
versity, who tried to use their governmental power to help the alma 
mater and to make fullest use of the services of University faculty 
and students in the business of government. The relationship be- 
came so well known that it gained a name, the Wisconsin Idea. 

The thinking of Professor Richard T. Ely was both influential and 
representative. Ely studied economics under Karl Knies in Germany. 
From Knies, he drew the institutional approach, rejecting Adam 
Smith's Newtonian view of the economic system as an unchanging 
entity governed by immutable laws. Ely and the new institutional- 
ists, organized into the American Economic Association in 1885, 
suggested that changing historical circumstances rendered obsolete 
all a priori systems. Specifically, they rejected the Smithian idea 
that government interference in the economy is invariably a bad 
thing, or that labor unions unduly interfere with the law of supply 
and demand.^"* 

The intellectual leaders of the Progressivism that developed 
under Governor Francis E. McGovern in 1911 took new views on 

12 Mihvaukee Free Press, October 30, 1912, 

13 Ibid., June 14, 1912. 

14 See especially Richard T. Ely, Ground Under Our Feet, New York, 


many issues. Unlike their purely Jeffersonian colleagues, men like 
Charles McCarthy, McGovern, President Van Hise, John R. Com- 
mons and Ely, among others, were not wedded to direct democracy, 
small government, or free competition. Their view on the subject 
of trusts perhaps reflected much of their thought. These men all 
flirted with Theodore Roosevelt's New Nationalism in 1912, as 
opposed to the more traditional reform views of Wilson and Brandeis. 
As McCarthy expressed it, "The policy of bursting combinations is 
a mistaken one." Even if effective, he argued, trust-busting would 
deny to society economies of scale. Not anti-trust action but gov- 
ernmental price fixing on monopoly-produced articles was McCarthy's 
solution. ^^ 

Probably the best statement of the new Progressivism was con- 
tained in McCarthy's book The Wisconsin Idea. McCarthy, dynamic 
chief of the Legislative Reference Library, began by outlining the 
situation that had aroused Henry George, the simultaneous growth 
of progress and poverty. This process, he felt, sprang inevitably 
from industrialism. It would surely bring the liquidation of the 
middle class, in a classical Marxian sense, but for one factor, the 
growth of intelligence. Salvation would be achieved if the power 
of the State, guided by intelligence and reason, mobilized against 
the sinister forces of concentrated capital and industry. McCarthy 
pointed to Germany as the prime example of what could be done 
through the union of intelligence and state power. Wisconsin was 
his Exhibit B. 

The key idea in McCarthy's system was that of the non-partisan 
commission of experts. "Why should not the state be the Efficiency 
Expert.'^" he asked. Already, McCarthy found that the state was 
harnessing the best brains to the service of the people through regu- 
latory commissions. He looked forward to even wider state service 
directed toward generating still greater intelligence and efficiency. -^^ 

These ideas were in accord with those of Governor Francis E, 
McGovern, who always maintained a close and friendly collabora- 
tion with McCarthy.-'^'^ The new governor was a forty-four year 
old University alumnus from Milwaukee. Acutely aware of the 

15 Charles McCarthy to Herman Ekern, November 7, 1911, Herman 
L. Ekern Papers; Van Hise's views were presented in his book Concen- 
tration and Control, New York, 1912; McGovern's Marketing Commission 
bill was constructed in conformity with this outlook. 

16 Charles R. McCarthy, The Wisconsin Idea, New York, 1912, 1-20. 

17 Francis E. McGovern to John M. Nelson, February 28, 1912, Francis 
E. McGovern Papers. 


new industrial problems that had emerged so suddenly,^^ he was 
eager to find new solutions. He sought ideas from a wide range 
of sources, including the newly formed Saturday Lunch Club, where 
he met with men like Charles R. Van Hise and Edward A. Ross,-^^ 
and the annual Governors' Conference, where he became impressed 
with his scholarly colleague from New Jersey, Woodrow Wilson.-'' 
Unafraid of innovation, McGovern did not shy away from McCarthy's 
notion of a positive, service state. In this respect, McGovern dif- 
fered somewhat from La FoUette. While La FoUette was chiefly 
concerned for the preservation of democracy, and saw economic 
issues as means towards that end,"^ McGovern subordinated political 
to economic reform. "Perfection in political machinery is indeed 
important and vital," he told the 1911 legislature, "principally be- 
cause by making the government more representative, it paves the 
way for laws, social adjustments and civil institutions which are 
calculated to secure and maintain desirable conditions in the daily 
life and occupations of men."^^ 

Members of the 1911 legislature, too, were influenced by the 
new ideas abroad in the land. An unprecedented number of the 
legislators, fifty-three, constituting forty-three percent of the whole, 
had some college training. By contrast, in the conservative 1915 
legislature, only thirty-one members, twenty-seven percent, had com- 
parable college background. ^^ Charles McCarthy was especially in- 
fluential with the legislators. Two veteran Progressives recalled 
as late as 1954 the eagerness with which assemblymen and senators 
listened to the lucid McCarthy's enthusiasm over reforms worked in 
New Zealand or Australia, Germany or Denmark.-^ 

18 Between 1900 and 1910, Wisconsin's population grew 12.8 percent, 
but the urban centers scored more impressive gains. Milwaukee, center 
of the growing young foundry and machine-shop industry, advanced thirty- 
one percent in the decade. Agricultural output jumped from an annual 
rate of $115,000,000 in 1900 to $200,000,000 in 1910, while industrial output 
rose from $360,000,000 to $600,000,000. Wisconsin Blue Book, 1913, 48-109; 
The Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910, 5:486, 54S;9:1322. 

19 Herman Ekem to Charles J. Bushnell, March 12, 1912, Herman 
L. Ekern Papers. 

20 Leslie R. Fort to Charles McCarthy, January 6, 1911, Charles R. 
McCarthy Papers. 

21 Robert M. La FoUette to Otto Bosshard, January 6, 1906, Robert 
M. La FoUette Papers; La Folette's Autobiography, 21. 

22 State of Wisconsin Assembly Journal, Fiftieth Session, 27, Janu- 
ary 6, 1911. 

23 Howard J. McMurray, "Some Influences of the University of Wis- 
consin on the State Government of Wisconsin," unpublished doctoral dis- 
sertation, University of Wisconsin, 1940, 34. 

24 Interview with Charles Rosa, January 15, 1954; Interview with 
William Kirsch, January 18, 1954. 


"You have greater opportunity than any Governor in the state's 
history to do big things," Alfred T. Rogers, law partner and political 
lieutenant to La FoUette, wired Frank McGovern as the vigorous 
Milwaukeean took office. ^^ McGovern was more than ready. The 
seed was sown in other years, he told the new legislature, this was 
the time for the harvest. ^^ 

The 1911 legislature, enthusiastic, optimistic and buoyed 
up by the Progressive landslide of 1910,^'^ enacted an un- 
precedented number of important reform proposals in both 
the political and economic spheres. Some of the political re- 
forms were in the direct democracy tradition, already so well ex- 
ploited and revitalized by La FoUette and his cohorts in their cam- 
paigns for the direct primary and against the rule of corrupt bosses. 
The second choice vote in the primary was finally adopted. So too 
were constitutional amendment proposals for initiative, referendum, 
recall of non-judicial officials, and liberalization of amendment 
procedure. Home rule for cities was advanced by several laws. The 
woman suffrage question was referred to the people. Moving in 
the other direction in the political sphere, the office of Insurance 
Commissioner was made appointive instead of elective. 

Probably more significant than the political reforms, in many 
ways, were the economic. The legislature passed a workmen's com- 
pensation law, established an Industrial Commission, regulated hours 
for women and children, and created an Industrial Education Board. 
The legislature also enacted a state income tax, provided liberal aid 
to highway construction, and created a Highway Commission. It 
passed a comprehensive law for conservation of water power and 
another setting up a forest reserve and a new commission to match. 
Wisconsin entered the insurance business with the creation of a state 
insurance fund to back state-granted life insurance and annuity 
policies. Rural problems were attacked by laws authorizing the 
formation of cooperatives, permitting counties to loan credit to set- 
tlers for the purpose of improving farm lands, and authorizing coun- 
ties to borrow money to establish schools of agriculture and domestic 
economy. As part of the same program, the legislature made civic 
centers of public school buildings. 

25 Alfred T. Rogers to Francis E. McGovern, January 2, 1911, Mc- 
Govern Papers. 

26 La Follette's Magazine, 3:2 (January 14, 1911). 

27 John E. McConnell to John J. Esch, February 20, 1911, John J. 
Esch Papers. 


Among the most important new governmental agencies created 
was the multi-purpose Board of Public Affairs. The board was to 
modernize the state's financial practices. In addition, however, it 
was authorized to investigate a wide range of subjects and make 
recommendations to the governor and legislature. Soon after its 
creation, the board launched studies of the public school system, 
community credit and cooperative marketing problems, city plan- 
ning ideas, the problem of settling unoccupied farm lands and the 
subject of prison labor. -^ 

McCarthy took the view that the Progressive reforms and phi- 
losophy of 1911 were extensions of the original movement, not 
additions to it. He traced the idea of regulatory commissions, the 
use of experts, and the idea of the positive state to the La FoUette 
administration. Events were to show that McCarthy and his col- 
leagues were overly optimistic. Probably the most significant fact 
about the reaction that quickly developed against reform and re- 
formers was this: It was infused with ideas and attitudes that had 
previously served the Progressives. 

McCarthy was partly correct in associating La FoUette with the 
new reforms. Although the Senator differed from the McCarthy- 
McGovern group on the subject of trusts and in placing democracy 
before economic questions, he did share many of the new views. In 
fact, it was La FoUette himself who first proposed creation of the 
Board of Public Affairs, the darling of both McCarthy and Mc- 
Govern.^^ Though greatly devoted to Jeffersonian democracy and 
the yeoman farmer. La FoUette was no enemy to a strong state, labor 
legislation or the use of reason and "science" in the process of 

Yet La FoUette was himself unrepresentative of many of his 
fellow Progressives, as James O. Davidson had amply demonstrated 
when he won the governorship against La FoUette's opposition in 
1906. To many who supported the Progressive movement in the 
early days, the new welfare measures, increased state regulation, 
the proliferation of appointive officials and commissions, and rising 
state expenditures had little appeal. The renewed conservative drive 

28 The legislation of the first McGovern administration is well pre- 
sented in Maxwell, La FoUette and the Rise of the Progressives in Wis- 
consin, 153-173. A concise summary is contained in Harry C. Wilbur to 
Medill McCormick, December 4, 1912, McGovern Papers, Wilbur Cor- 

29 Charles R. McCarthy to George E. Scott, August 4, 1914, Mc- 
Carthy Papers. 


begun in 1912 would have been unsuccessful and insignificant but 
for the fact that it appealed so strongly to the voting backbone of 

The focus of conservative attention in 1912 was the new state 
income tax law. The Wisconsin Manufacturers' Association, in 
which Democratic politician Harry Bolens was prominent, lobbied 
against the state income tax bill in 1911.^^ After the bill's adoption, 
the Association linked forces with other conservatives in urging 
repeal. ^-"^ The issue proved an excellent vehicle for unification of 
several important strands of discontent. The new tax involved forty 
appointive officials, responsible to the Tax Commission, as well as 
confusing forms to be filled out. Inevitably, the question of un- 
democratic, inefficient bureaucracy was raised. The tax also sug- 
gested the question of state expenses, and served as a springboard 
for attacks on the growth of commissions and the rising cost of 

Tax assessments were to be made in July, 1912, on the basis of 
information provided by the taxpayer during the winter. But as 
early as February, 1912, speeches were being made in conservative 
Rock county attacking the income tax and the University, the latter 
largely because of increased appropriations. These speeches were 
widely reported and the same lines of attack were followed else- 
where. In March, anti-tax disgruntlement increased as the people 
began to grapple with the tax forms. ''^ In June, Attorney General 
Levi Bancroft condemned the administration and the income tax, 
arguing that the tax drove capital from the state, encouraged per- 
jury, and humiliated and degraded citizens by submitting them to 
inquisitorial procedure.^^ 

The Democrats swung into action in July. Judge John C. Karel, 
a former University of Wisconsin football star from Milwaukee 
who made friendship his hobby and was active in fraternal, church 
and civic circles,^^ launched his gubernatorial candidacy with the 
charge that the state income tax was "obnoxious and inquisitorial" 
and that "extravagance has run riot in the administration of state 

30 Otto Falk to Harry Bolens, June 2, 1911, Harry Bolens Papers. 

31 Wisconsin Manufacturers Association to Theodore Kronshage, Sep- 
tember 15, 1912, Theodore Kronshage Papers. 

32 Edward E. Browne to Francis E. McGovern, March 28, 1912, Mc- 
Govern Papers. 

33 Milwaukee Free Press, June 17, 1912. 

34 L. Albert Karel, The Story of a Friendly Man (n.p., n.d. [1939]); 
Milwaukee Journal, December 5, 1938. 


affairs."^^ His liberal opponent, A. J. Schmitz, defended the tax, 
but condemned extravagance. The party's primary platform called 
only for amendment of the tax law, not repeal, but condemned un- 
necessary commissions and appointive officers as subversive of popu- 
lar and economical government.^'' The entire conservative attack 
intensified during the election campaign of 1912. Karel, who had 
won his party's nomination, led the way, calling the income tax the 
"most pernicious law that was ever put on the statute books of 
Wisconsin.""'' The law served the interests of political self seekers, 
he charged; Stalwart Republican papers like the Janes f Hie Gazette 
and the Fond du Lac Reporter agreed. ^^ 

Harry Bolens, Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor, 
concentrated on the popular outcry against state expenses. He 
pointed out that in 1901 La FoUette had viewed with alarm the 
recent increase in state expenses. ^^ 

A Milwaukee lawyer concisely brought together the strands of 
another popular theme when he wrote: 

The people are tired of this paternalistic, Progressive probing into their 
private and personal affairs; they are tired of being governed by the uni- 
versity clique; they are tired of theorists, socialists and sociologists. They 
want to return to a safe and sane government by the people. ^o 

Though Progressive defection did not reach dangerous propor- 
tions until 1914, there was much evidence as early as 1912 that 
skepticism about some features of the Progressive movements was 
not confined to the old guard conservatives. Merlin Hull, a Progres- 
sive editor from rural Jackson county, had inveighed against in- 
creased spending at the University as early as 1908.*-^ The Pro- 
gressives, in their 1912 campaign, showed a hearty respect for the 
growing popularity of the economy appeal. 

Reforms directed at improving the conditions of laboring men 
proliferated in 1911. Still, farmers, the voting backbone of Wis- 
consin Progressivism, were reserved on the whole subject of labor 
legislation. A serious student of the matter judges that Wisconsin 
farmers balked at such legislation because they feared the cost to 

35 Milwaukee Sentinel, July 4, 1912. 

36 Janesville Gazette, July 12, 1912. 

37 Racine Times, November 5, 1912. 

38 Janesville Gazette, October 10, 16, 1912. 

39 Milwaukee Sentinel, October 26, 1912. 

40 Janesville Gazette, October 1, 1912 

41 Merle Curti and Vernon Carstensen, The University of Wisconsin, 
2 vols., Madison, 1949, 2, 179. 


taxpayers and, as employers, feared regulation of hours, wages 
and safety conditions. It proved impossible to pass such bills as the 
workmen's compensation act, the child labor law, and others until 
farmer employers were exempted from the provisions of the laws.^^ 

Some Progressives could not swallow one of the key ideas of 
the new Progressivism, that in the interests of scientific efficiency 
and the short ballot, many officers should be appointive rather 
than elective. George Cooper, a staunch pro-La Follette editor, 
and Merlin Hull, were among the opponents of the bill to make 
the office of Insurance Commissioner appointive. Cooper wrote 
to Herman Ekern, the Insurance Commissioner, who was actively 
backing the bill: "If the logic for a change of the office to an ap- 
pointive one is carried to a conclusion, it will eventually do away 
with all state elective officers except that of governor. "^^ But Mc- 
Carthy, in The W/sconsm Idea, espoused the very thing that Cooper 
could not even contemplate seriously, conversion of the offices of 
Secretary of State, Treasurer and Attorney General into appointive 

However consistent the ideas of efficiency and democracy may 
have appeared to McCarthy and McGovern, less sophisticated men 
saw contradictions. A Progressive county judge from Waukesha 
wrote Herman Ekern, "I am very much disappointed in you after 
learning that you campaigned the state, recommending the primary 
law and the nomination of public officers directly by the people . . . , 
and then bringing about such legislation as to make your office 
an appointive office and extending your term, within a very short 
term after the people were kind enough to elect you."^^ 

The Progressives showed their respect for the force of their 
opponents' arguments in their own 1912 campaign strategy. In- 
stead of taking the offensive, by outlining new reform proposals, 
the Progressives took up defensive positions and tried to answer the 
arguments of their foes. McGovern, Tax Commissioner Nils 
Haugen, Republican Chairman George E. Scott, and Progressive 
papers like the Wisconsin State Journal and the Superior Telegra?n 
stoutly defended the income tax. They argued that it was lower 
than the old property tax, but had the advantage that it would be 

42 Gertrude Schmidt, "The History of Labor Legislation in Wiscon- 
sin," unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Wisconsin, 1933, 89, 
119, 147. 

43 George Cooper to Herman Ekern, May 26, 1911, Ekern Papers. 

44 McCarthy, The Wisco7isin Idea, 90. 

45 David W. Agnew to Herman Ekern, October 14, 1912, Ekern Papers. 


:ollected. Haugen denied that the tax cost a great deal to administer 
)r required a large staff. McGovern charged that the opposition 
:ame from tax-dodgers and predatory interests bent on undoing 
ill the Progressive accomplishments in the state. '^^ 

The Progressives showed great sensitivity to the extravagance 
ssue, also. Secretary of State James Frear released several state- 
nents from his office during October, claiming that the department 
wa.s being efficiently and economically run, and that the state tax 
:or the coming year would be over a million dollars less than in 
1912.^'^ Assistant Treasurer Henry Johnson, candidate for State 
Treasurer, brought figures from his office to refute Harry Bolen's 
:harge that the taxpayers were paying five million dollars annually 
for the salaries of state employees.'*^ La Follette and the Republican 
state Central Committee pounded on the same argument. La Fol- 
ette denied that state expenses had risen from three to thirteen 
million dollars annually in the previous decade. He pointed out 
that some of the "disbursements" were merely transfers from one 
fund to another, and that over three million dollars were turned 
over by the state government to local governments and associations. 
According to La Follette's calculations, 1912 state expenditures 
amounted to roughly seven million three hundred thousand dollars. ^^ 
The State Central Committee backed him up in charging the Demo- 
crats with exaggeration on the extravagance issue.^° The chief 
Progressive organ, the Wisconsin State Journal, advertised the fact 
that the Industrial Commission amply justified its cost in the money 
it saved citizens by eliminating costly litigation. ^^ 

The ticklish question of experts in government was frankly faced 
by La Folette. The Senator argued that experts and commissions 
were necessary in readjusting to new conditions. The method had 
been used successfully, had not brought ruin to business, and had 
purified democracy, he claimed.^" 

The Progressives retained one key weapon. They were able to 
raise the old cry against the vested interests, ravenous corporations. 

46 Racine Times, October 23, 1912; Wisconsin State Journal, October 1, 
19, 1912; Green Bay Semi-Weekly Gazette, October 30, November 2, 1912; 
Superior Telegram, October 24, 1912. 

47 Wisconsin State Journal, October 2, 1912; Green Bay Semi-Weekly 
Gazette, October 30, 1912. 

48 Wisconsin State Journal, October 13, 1912. 

49 Green Bay Semi-Weekly Gazette, October 26, 1912. 

50 Wisconsin State Journal, October 5, 1912. 

51 Ibid., October 18, 1912. 
5 2 Ibid., October 22, 1912. 


La Follette, McGovern and other Progressives argued that the cost 
of commissions was far less than the price unprotected consumers 
and workers would have to pay the predatory pack.^^ 

The hue and cry against the interests had not yet abated on the 
national scene. The Progressive tide swept Wilson into the Demo- 
cratic presidential nomination, Roosevelt into a third party effort, 
and inundated Taft in the election. The tariff and the high cost of 
living remained in the public eye.^"* Not the advisability but the 
method of dealing with monopoly emerged as the leading issue 
in the presidential race. Reinforced by the national trend of thought, 
the Wisconsin tradition of wariness towards large corporations con- 
stituted a substantial obstacle to the conservative drive. 

Even so, the election results revealed that the political fruits of 
the new Progressivism in Wisconsin were less tasty than the promise. 
While the Progressives had won out in a landslide in 1910, the 
1912 results were so close that the outcome in the race for governor 
remained in doubt for some days. Finally, McGovern was de- 
clared the winner. He received 179,317 votes to 167,296 for Karel.^^ 
The rest of the Republican ticket did somewhat better, winning by 
from twenty-one to twenty-four thousand votes. ^^ Despite the 
speaking campaign of Mrs. La Follette, woman suffrage was turned 
down, 227,024 to 135,545." 

Again in 1913 and 1914, the tax issue spearheaded the conserva- 
tive campaign. This time, however, the issue emerged in a virtually 
unbeatable form. An extraordinary tax levy, resulting from, the 
precarious condition of the state's finances, was announced late in 
October, 1913. Here at last was the key the conservatives needed. 
With it, they opened the door to voter attention and displayed a 
full and attractive stock of ideological goods. Anti-extravagance, 
anti-bureaucracy, anti-intellectualism and anti-radicalism were all 
aggressively marketed. 

A combination of circumstances induced the disastrous tax im- 
position. A remission of $1,900,000 in 1912 put the state in a 
vulnerable position. When the 1913 legislature appropriated 
roughly $25,000,000 for the next biennium, and corporation and 

53 Ibid., October 5, 18, 19, 1912; La Crosse Tribune, October 11, 21, 1912. 

54 Janesville Gazette, July 11, October 21, 1912; La Follette' s Maga- 
zine, 10:5 (May, 1918). 

55 Wisconsin Blue Book, 1913, 260. 
5 6 Ibid., 261-264. 

57 Wisconsin Blue Book, 19U2, 215. 


inheritance taxes failed to meet expectations, the state was forced 
to seek new funds. 

Several factors combined to raise state spending. The automobile 
age came suddenly, and highway construction was not cheap. The 
1911 legislature bound the state government to pay one-third of 
the cost of all highway construction undertaken by county and local 
units. $350,000 was set aside for the purpose, but applications for 
aid totaled $800,000. The 1913 legislature appropriated the extra 
$450,000 and $1,200,000 in addition, as an annual appropriation.^^ 
New buildings for the University, normal schools and charitable 
and penal institutions added to the appropriation load.^^ The 
University appropriated for 1913-14 exceeded two million dollars, 
over nine hundred thousand more than in 1910-11. The appropria- 
tions for 1900-01 had been under three hundred thousand dollars. ^^ 
Another important factor in boosting state expenses was the new 
budget system. It made appropriations more systematic and definite, 
but by producing omnibus appropriations bills late in the session, 
the new system curtailed the governor's power to veto unnecessary 
items. ^^ County and local expenses and taxes rose along with those 
of the state, as a result, chiefly, of extensive road building, but the 
leaders of the state government absorbed most of the blame. 

The first murmurs of discontent were heard the day after Gov- 
ernor McGovern signed the record appropriations, as the Milwaukee 
Free Press condemned the "appropriations orgy."^" The announce- 
ment, at the end of October, 1913, that an extraordinary general 
purpose tax levy of a million and a half dollars would be necessary, 
occasioned further protest. ^^ By the end of January, 1914, Mc- 
Govern's chances for election to the Senate seemed dim to a Janes- 
ville Gazette political reporter. "McGovern has got to answer for 
this high tax proposition," he observed, "and there is the whole 
trouble in a nut shell. Taxes, taxes, taxes." Political friends of 
the governor ruefully agreed. There always have been such com- 
plaints at tax paying time, one of them observed to McGovern's 

58 Wisconsin Highway Commission, Bulletin No. 3, The State High- 
way Aid Laiv, Madison, 1913, 7, 52. 

59 Circular to the county clerks from the Department of State, Octo- 
ber 27, 1913; John S. Donald to A. R. Kempter, November 10, 1913, John 
S. Donald Papers. 

60 Curti and Carstensen, University of Wisconsin, 2, 606. 

61 Milwaukee Free Press, August 8, 1914. 

62 Ibid., August 9, 1914. 

63 Janesville Gazette, October 28, 30, November 1, 1913; Wausau 
Record-Herold, October 28, 29, 1913. 


secretary, Harry Wilbur, but "it seems that the people quite gen- 
erally are of the opinion that the last legislature was too extra- 

Amidst a general fanfare of protest, led by conservative news- 
papers and syndicated Wisconsin columnist Ellis B. Usher, whose 
weekly words were carried by such papers as the ]anesville Gazette, 
the Wausau Record-Herold, the Beloit Free Press, and the Oshkosh 
Northwestern, the conservative campaign began to take form in 
February. Two conventions, ostensibly representing farmers and 
businessmen from three southern counties, laid the groundwork for 
the formation of the Home Rule and Taxpayers League.^^ Charles 
Pierce of Janesville and T. C. Richmond of Madison, conservative 
lawyers who had long been politically active, took the lead in the 
new organization. Behind the scenes was Emanuel Philipp.^^ Con- 
servative organization moved a step further when the Home Rule 
League met in Madison on May 6 and resolved in favor of a pre- 
primary convention, to organize the anti-administration campaign. ^^ 

Though the Home Rule and Taxpayers League was ostensibly 
non-partisan, and included conservative Democrats in its leadership, 
the new organization was soon turned to the advantage of Emanuel 
Philipp. The league decided to back Philipp for Governor, ^^ and 
was instrumental in bringing about a Republican pre-primary con- 
vention on June 22, in Madison. ^^ Charles Pierce represented the 
league at the convention and delivered an address denouncing the 
extravagance of the previous fourteen years and the meddling of 
the University in politics. Meanwhile, a platform was gone over 
and approved in committee. Within three hours of convening, 
the delegates had adopted a platform, nominated Emanuel Philipp 
for governor, as head of a complete slate of conservative Repub- 
lican candidates, and adjourned. ^° 

Philipp's speeches in the 1914 primary campaign, with those 

64 Janesville Gazette, January 31, 1914; George Thompson to Harry 
Wilbur, February 27, 1914, McGovern Papers, Wilbur Correspondence. 

65 Janesville Gazette, February 13, 16, 28, 1914, 

66 Harry Wilbur to D. B. Worthington, Febi-uary 25, 1914; Wilbur 
to Percy Ap Roberts, March 12, 1914, McGovern Papers, Wilbur Cor- 
respondence; Milwaukee Journal, November 21, 1914. 

67 Milwaukee Journal, November 21, 1914. 

68 Janesville Gazette, May 25, 1922. The story, an obituary of Charles 
Pierce, reports that the decision to back Philipp was made in an office 
in the Janesville City Hall. 

69 Philipp was apparently chief mover in bringing about the conven- 
tion, for he bore the expense of it, $562.82. Statement of expenses of 
Emanuel Philipp . . . November 3, 1914, Emanuel Philipp Papers. 

70 Wisconsin State Journal, June 23, 1914. 


of the other conservative candidates and speakers, together with the 
platform of the Madison convention, blended with the background 
music provided by the conservative press and the Taxpayers League 
to constitute the anti-Progressive symphony of 1914. The themes, 
like those of 1912, were strikingly modern. They bore a greater 
similarity to the anti-New Deal chorus than to the anti-La Follette 
tunes of earlier years. Here was a new conservatism, to meet the 
new Progressivism. 

Conservative argument, like Progressive, centered on two main 
areas, economic and political. The economic argument involved per- 
sonal gain or loss for the voter, while the political argument turned 
on the question of democracy. In the earlier days, the Progressives 
had much the better of the ideological warfare over these issues. 
In the economic sphere, the conservatives had warned that Pro- 
gressive measures would drive industry from the state. But the 
years were prosperous ones and industry actually expanded. In the 
political sphere, the conservatives charged La Follette with "boss 
rule." This argument served the purposes of anti-La Follette Pro- 
gressives like James O. Davidson, but it could hardly benefit Starwart 
candidates; La Follette effectively counter-charged that his enemies 
had opposed and continued to oppose the primary, while supporting 
the discredited convention system, symbol of boss rule. 

With the 1912 and 1914 campaigns, the conservatives moved to 
higher ground. The conservative attack was disastrous to the Pro- 
gressives because it utilized arguments that the Progressives had 
themselves used in their successful appeals to the voters. The con- 
servatives attacked on the question of equitable taxation, as the 
Progressives had done in early days, when taxation of railroads and 
other corporations had aroused voter attention. The conservatives 
now asked for economy in government, as the Progressives had 
done when they attacked corruptionists for wasting and misusing 
taxpayers funds. '^^ The conservative assault on commissions and 
theoreticians was in the name of popular government, the issue that 
had been basic to Progressive criticism of boss rule and appeal for 
the direct primary.''^^ 

71 The Sco field cow incident is a case in point. When the then Gov- 
ernor Scofield franked a cow, with other belongings, to Madison, the Pro- 
gressives publicized the event in their press and hammered on it in speeches 
as an example of waste and favoritism, 

"^2 On the early days of Progressivism in Wisconsin, see especially 
Belle Case La Follette and Fola La Folette, La Folette and Albert 0. 
Barton, La Follette's Winning of Wisconsin, Des Moines, 1924. 


It has frequently been remarked that many men who had been 
known as Progressives in the days of Theodore Roosevelt's presidenq' 
emerged as arch foes of Franklin Roosevelt. In Wisconsin, at least, 
the break from Progressivism can be traced as far back as 1912 
and 1914, for many. No real inconsistency is involved. For the 
Progressivism of the McGovern administrations, with its pro-labor, 
welfare bias, its emphasis on experts, its expansion of taxation and 
spending, while very similar to phases of the New Deal, was dis- 
similar in many respects to the Progressivism of the turn of the 
century. Small wonder that the tenuous Progressive coalition of the 
early days began to break up when some of its disunities became 
evident to all. 

The argumeut of the conservatives was a neat and potent package, 
a fusion of the two main issues into one. Government by commis- 
sion, the alleged retreat from democracy, was blamed for "extra- 
vagance" and high taxes. But, though attacks on commissions, 
experts and the University had priority logically, politically it was 
the "bread and butter" issue of extravagance and taxation that 
supported the entire ideological edifice.''^^ 

The increase in state expenses since 1900 was the major theme 
of Emanuel Philipp's opening campaign address, which provided 
the material for his subsequent speeches. He said that expenses had 
risen from four million dollars in 1900 to thirteen million in 1913. 
Here was the basic evil used by the conservatives to enlist the atten- 
tion of the voters. The Taxpayers League, which was active during 
the campaign, owed its very existence to the issue of extravagance. 
The conservative papers, led by the Milwaukee Sentinel, gave prime 
attention to that issue. '^* 

Heralded by the extravagance issue, the question of democracy 
came forth in full panoply. T. C. Richmond of the Taxpayers 
League gave voters a foretaste of campaign fare in February. "A 
few years ago we had in Wisconsin something like a democracy," he 
wrote the Madison Democrat. "Now all that is changed. . . The 
people are no longer trusted to manage their own affairs. . . Rea 
democracy is gone. Bureaucracy has taken its place. . . ."^^ Months 

73 Charles McCarthy to Charles R. Crane, March 7, 1914, McCarthy 
Papers; Oscar Schoengai'th to Harry Wilbur, May 16, 1914; D. O. Mahonev 
to Wilbur, May 19, 1914; Guy A. Benson to Wilbur, May 23, 1914, McGovern 
Papers, Wilbur Correspondence. 

74 Milwaukee Sentinel, July 7, 10, 29, August 24, 1914; Waitsai* 
Record-Herold, August 14, 19, 1914; Beloit Free Press, August 20, 1914. 

75 Copied in the Janesville Gazette, February 17, 1914. 


later, the Taxpayers League issued a pre-primary statement to the 
voters in which it posed the issue as one of local self-government or 
rule by experts." "To put it briefly, do you want a democracy 
or a bureaucracy," it asked rhetorically.'^^ Emanuel Philipp stressed 
the same issue, but more elaborately. He listed the increases in 
appropriation and pointed out that the major ones occurred not in 
the regular departments but in the commissions and the University. 
Taking off from this prosaic statistical springboard, the rotund busi- 
nessman soared to the heights of oratory, history and philosophy. 
"This is not a mere campaign for office," he assured his Waukesha 
auditors. "It is a fight for constitutional representative government, 
as opposed to the delegated powers which build up a dangerous 
bureaucracy." The history of human progress, the candidate argued, 
had been a battle against usurped powers and burdensome taxation. '^^ 

The bulk of Philipp's campaign speech, as of the entire conser- 
vative campaign, consisted of elaboration on the closely linked 
extravagance-bureaucracy issues. The University emerged as the 
chief whipping boy of the conservative campaign. It was charged 
with causing increased spending and bureaucracy both directly and 
indirectly. Philipp said that the cost of the University had risen from 
$587,773 in 1910 to $2,389,959 in 1913 and the budget for 1914 
called for $2,863,320."^^ While the University was getting more 
than its fair share, Philipp said, rural schools were being slighted. 
He argued also that the University was the spawning ground for 
commissioners, "experts," and socialists. He criticized University 
personnel for mixing in politics and not devoting full time to teach- 
ing. As at least a partial remedy for some of the evils he described, 
Philipp proposed that a single board be created to apportion money 
among the various state institutions of learning.'^^ 

Linked with the University and commissions in a bureaucratic 
conspiracy to control state government, in Philipp's view, was the 
Legislative Reference Library. Charles McCarthy's organization, he 
charged, had insidiously expanded its functions beyond that of pro- 
viding information, and practically controlled the Legislature. It 
should be abolished, he said.^° 

76 Milwaukee Sentinel, August 24, 1914. 

77 Ibid., July 16, 1914. 

78 He ignored the fact that part of the 1913 and 1914 figures were 
covered by University income. In 1910, this money was spent directly by 
the University and did not pass through the hands of the state government. 

79 Mihvaukee Sentinel, July 16, 1914. 

80 Loc. cit. 


The conservative Democrats found no difficulty in mastering 
the new issues. It vv^as they, after all, vv'ho led the way in 1912. The 
arguments about liberty, oppressive bureaucracy and taxation were 
congenial to at least one phase of their Jeffersonian tradition. 

The group led by John C. Karel outnumbered the liberal Demo- 
cratic faction at the party's pre-primary convention and secured the 
designation of a full conservative slate for the primary contests.^^ 

After conferences with Joseph E. Davies, committeeman and 
liaison with President Wilson, the liberal Democrats put up a slate 
of their own, headed by John A. Aylward for Governor and State 
Senator Paul Husting of Mayville for Senator. Aylward's platform, 
however, was scarcely that of a rabid reformed. The Madison 
attorney denounced high taxes, and promised to reduce commis- 
sions from forty-five to fifteen, cut the state payroll a million dol- 
lars, cut the highway tax a million dollars, keep the University out 
of politics, and make the reference library the servant, not the 
master of the people. He named a number of commissions that he 
would eliminate, including the Board of Public Affairs. Finally, 
he promised to reduce University appropriations and keep the state 
out of the insurance business. ^^ 

However, it was the Progressive Republicans themselves who 
delivered the most eloquent tribute to the strength of the anti-Pro- 
gressive arguments. In a desperate effort to retain the support 
of voters, they acquiesced in many of the chief arguments of the 
Stalwarts. Setting the pace, to the consternation of many, was 
Senator Robert M. La FoUette. That La FoUette should oppose 
the senatorial ambitions of Governor McGovern was not surprising, 
considering the mutual suspicion that existed between the two. But 
that he should condemn the work of McGovern's administration was 
astonishing. The administration was, after all, representative of 
"Progressivism," as La FoUette had himself recognized in 1912 
when he urged his supporters to overlook factional differences and 
back McGovern against Karel. Nevertheless, on July 25, the cover 
of La FoUette' s carried the following signed editorial: 

The American people as a body, whether in Wisconsin or elsewhere, do 
not complain without cause. They do not always protest, even when there 
is crying need for protests. 

There is complaint of high taxes in Wisconsin this year. There is rea- 
son for it. The annual appropriations for the University and Normal school 
building was excessive. 

81 Milivaukee Sentinel, July 15, 1914. 

82 Ibid., August 7, 1914. 


The appropriations for highways were much beyond the amount which 
can be wisely and economically expended. 

These appropriations doubtless carried with them others which are justly 
open to criticism. 

Such a course begets waste and looseness in administration. . . 

And upon whom should fall the responsibility of this wrong to a great 
cause and a great commonwealth.'* 

The executive office is the clearing house on appropriations. There is 
focused detailed information on all legislation pending and passed, there 
the appropriations are listed, there the aggregates are known. And there 
is lodged the final power in one hand to insure the passage of an appropria- 
tion or to smite it with a veto, that makes an end to it. . . .^^ 

McGovern immediately replied to La Follette's attack by attempting 
to shift the blame for appropriations to the La Follette leader, Sen- 
ator George Scott, who had presented the appropriations bills. ^'* 
Scott in turn denied that he had been in contact with La Follette 
and put the blame on McGovern. ^^ 

La Follette's remarkable statement was the ailmination of a 
strategem that had been developing since March. Heated factional 
hostilities approached the boiling point as the 1914 primary ap- 
proached. The La Follette leaders were determined to block Mc- 
Govern's elevation to the Senate. Increasingly, they utilized the 
popular conservative arguments against McGovern. This develop- 
ment evidenced, of course, the extremes to which internal strife 
had led the Progressives. Yet more important, it reflected the 
attractiveness of the anti-extravagance appeal to which the La Fol- 
lette men resorted. 

Pursuing the new strategy. La Follette's first lieutenants gath- 
ered in Madison at the end of March, 1914, and decided to petition 
the governor to call a special session of the Legislature to effect 
economies.^'' In June, Secretary of State John S. Donald, a La 
Follette man, urged Tom Morris, La Follette's chosen candidate 
against McGovern for the Senate nomination, not to alienate Stal- 
warts. Old differences no longer mattered, Donald wrote.^'^ Even 
Richard Lloyd Jones, usually an uncompromising Progressive, took 
conservative ground in backing Morris in his paper. The Wisconsin 
State Journal argued that Morris had sought to curb spending, had 

83 La Follette's Magazine, 6:30 (July 25, 1914). 

84 Milwaukee Sentinel, July 26, 1914. 

85 La Follette's Magazine, 6:32 (August 8, 1914). 

86 Harry Wilbur to Hans M. Laursen, April 4, 1914, McGovern Papers, 
Wilbur Correspondence. 

87 John S. Donald to William Bell, June 8, 1914, Donald Papers. 


been involved in the movement for a special session, and was a 
protective tariff man.^^ 

During the campaign for the Republican gubernatorial nomina- 
tion, La Follette's choice, Andrew Dahl, made much of the fact 
that he was not implicated in recent extravagance, and pressed an 
attack on the administration very similar to Philipp's. The veteran 
Progressive's campaign statement echoed the charges and demands 
made by Philipp and Karel. Dahl first listed and praised the past 
achievements of the Progressive movement. Getting to the issues 
of 1914, however, he attacked the extravagance of the previous ad- 
ministration, asked for reduced highway appropriations and greater 
local control, and called for a reduction in University and Normal 
school building programs. Dahl attacked the Legislative Reference 
Library, calling it a "bill factory," and advocated the abolition of 
the Board of Public Affairs. He made no mention of the initiative, 
referendum or recall, nor of marketing or cooperatives, the major 
really Progressive issues of the time.^^ Dahl began his speaking 
campaign in New Glarus on August 3 with an attack on the Board 
of Public Affairs as the cause of higher expenses. His lines re- 
mained the same at the end of the month. ^° 

In greater or less degree, the other major Progressive candi- 
dates for governor also acquiesced in the issue of extravagance. 
Merlin Hull claimed, with some truth, to have been an early advo- 
cate of economy. ^^ Even William Hatton, himself a member of the 
Board of Public Affairs, took cognizance of the issue. He pledged 
efficiency and economy and stressed his success as a businessman.^^ 

Despite some belated Progressive efforts to draw a sharp line 
between themselves and Philipp, the dominant tone of the guber- 
natorial primary was conservative. It was perhaps fitting, therefore, 
that Emanuel Philipp won out. He polled 43,733 votes to 27,619 

88 Wisconsin State Journal, June 15, 1914. 

89 Ibid., June 22, 1914. The implicit attack on Charles McCarthy 
was not surprising. McCarthy was never close to La Follette and his friends. 
He was, on the other hand, in close sympathy with McGovern and his 
measures. Moreover, he had helped to draft Theodore Roosevelt's Pro- 
gressive Party platform in 1912, and La Follette and his friends retained 
considerable bitterness towards Roosevelt. By 1914, a number of La 
Follette leaders were hostile to McCarthy. See, for instance, Crownhart 
to McCarthy, June 27, 1914; George E. Scott to McCarthy, August 7, 
1914, McCarthy Papers; Dahl to A. W. Sanborn, July 15, 1914, Robert 
M. La Follette Papers. 

90 Milwaukee Sentinel, August 4, 24, 1914. 

91 Ibid., August 11, 1914. 

92 Milwaukee Free Press, August 4, 1914. 


for Dahl and 23,275 for Hatton. Roethe drew 12,411 votes, Hull 
10,841 and Utman 6,734.^^ Few voters used the second choice 
vote, despite the high hopes of the Progressives.^* 

The Republican platform of 1914 was carefully tailored to the 
shape of voter sentiment. Patterned by shrewd political experts, the 
platform represented an attempt to recognize and placate all of the 
major elements of political strength in the state. It endorsed the 
past achievements of the Progressives, and favored the general idea 
of regulation of business by the state. It did not include the anti- 
primary plank espoused by Philipp earlier. But it did support 
economy, in education, road construction and elsewhere, elimination 
of non-essential commissions, and constitutional government, as 
well as greater local control in road matters. ^^ 

In an effort to convert their headlong flight of the primary 
campaign into an orderly retreat,^^ Progressives of various factions 
put on independent candidate into the field. Efforts to persuade 
La Follette to make the race for Governor failed,^'' and the hopeless 
task fell to State Senator John J. Blaine of Boscobel. As a strong 
Wilson Democrat in 1912, he was expected to win liberal Demo- 
cratic support.^^ Blaine made a strong and forthright campaign. 
He tried to show that "The contest is between stalwarts and half- 
breeds, just as it was in the beginning."^^ He also supported the 
amendments for initiative, referendum and recall, which the La 
Follette men considered highly important. ^°° La Follette, after 
some delay in Washington, finally took the stump for Blaine and 
the amendments on October 29. Richard Lloyd Jones had been a 
prime mover in bringing Blaine into the field and gave him cordial 
support in the Wiscofisifi State ]ourual}^'^ Such pro-La Follette 

93 Wisconsin Blue Book, 1915, 234-5. 

94 La Follette's Magazine, 6:32 (August 8, 1914). The magazine 
claimed that the second choice vote guaranteed Philipp's defeat. 

95 Milwaukee Sentinel, October 1, 1914. 

96 Herman Ekern to Robert La Follette, October 14, 1914, Ekern 
Papers; Milwaukee Sentinel, October 2, 6, 1914. 

97 Memo on conversation between Charles McCarthy and Richard 
Lloyd Jones, September 12, 1914, McCarthy Papers; Ekern to La Follette, 
September 24, 1914, Ekern Papers; Milwaukee Sentinel, October 5, 1914; 
Belle Case La Follette and Fola La Follette, La Follette, 1, 506-509. 

98 Milwaukee Sentinel, October 6, 1914. 

99 Ibid., October 15, 1914. 

100 Herman Ekern to George A. Anderson, October 26, 1914; Ekern 
to C. B. Ballard, October 26, 1914, Ekern Papers; La Follette's Magazine, 
6, 42, 44 (October 17, 31, 1914). Judge Charles Rosa of Beloit, a strong 
La Follette man, conducted a campaign for the amendments. 

101 Wisconsin State Journal, October 7, 1914. 


papers as the La Crosse Tribune, Eau Claire Telegram and Lancaster 
Teller also backed him.^°" 

Nevertheless, Blaine's effort was simply token resistance. The 
candidates on the state ticket remained loyal to Philipp, as did 
many Progressive Republicans, including Andrew Dahl and D. O. 
Mahoney, President of the Wisconsin Society of Equity. ^°^ Pro- 
gressive Republican papers like the Merrill Herald, Superior Tele- 
gram, Racine Times, Oshkosh Northivestern and Neenah News sup- 
ported the straight Republican ticket. ■^'^* Nor did Blaine secure 
Democratic support. The national Democratic administration fav- 
ored party harmony,-'^^^ and Senate candidate Paul Husting, leader 
of the liberal Democrats, was dependent on national financial help 
for his campaign. ^°^ In the end, Blaine polled only 32,940 votes, 
against 119,567 for Karel and 140,835 for Emanuel Philipp, the 
new governor. •^^'^ 

The weakness of the Blaine candidacy evidenced another im- 
portant, though rather intangible factor in the Progressive decline. 
The widespread, crusading zeal that animated Progressivism in 
the early days seemed to have been dissipated to a considerable de- 
gree by 1914. The young men who had rallied to La FoUette with 
such enthusiasm in the nineties had grown more cautious with the 
years. Charles McCarthy, as enthusiastic as ever, noticed that while 
many young Progressives were backing Blaine, the older ones, those 
who retained leadership, supported Philipp. ^"^^ McCarthy's thought- 
ful friend William Hatton, looking back on the downward path, 
remarked on the same general factor. "... Many who had fought 
the good fight became more and more imbued with the desire to 
retain or gain public office," he wrote. "The spirit of sacrifice for 
principle's sake, which had been a marked characteristic of the 
movement in its earlier days, disappeared to no small extent. What 
also hurt," Hatton continued, "was the fact that many men whose 
chief idea was to be on the winning side were attracted to the move- 

102 La Crosse Tribune, October 8, 1914; Milwaukee Journal, October 
9, 11, 1914. 

103 Milwaukee Sentinel, October 8, 1914; Charles McCarthy to William 
Hard, October 8, 1914, McCarthy Papers. 

104 Reported in the Mibvaukee Journal, October 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1914. 

105 Paul Husting to Burt Williams, October 1, 1914, Paul Husting 

106 Husting to Joseph E. Davies, September 18, 1914, Husting Letter- 

107 Wisconsin Blue Book, 1915, 222. 

108 Charles McCarthy to William Hard, October 8, 1914, McCarthy 


ment by its very success, and they, too, aided in weakening its 
morale. Selfishness largely displaced unselfishness. . . ."'^^^ 

The decline of vitality and enthusiasm had proceeded less per- 
ceptibly than the other major factors of weakness. Its course is 
not subject to historical description. But though inconspicuous, the 
factor of declining enthusiasm was not insignificant. Again in 
1916, it was very evident.-^^*^ 

At long last, the downfall of the Progressives, for which hard- 
bitten Stalwart campaigners had so long prayed and worked, had 
been largely encompassed. Jealousies among Progressives, the toll 
of time, limitations of the direct primary mechanism, among other 
things, all played important parts. But most important of all in 
halting the Progressives was the basic conservatism of the electorate 
itself. Old Isaac Stephenson, who broke with the Progressives in 
I9O8, apparently expressed the views of a great many when he 
wrote, "In Wisconsin the old railroad-corporation crowd, the inner 
ring which controlled party affairs to the exclusion of all others, 
had fairly routed and some good laws were placed on the statute 
books. There the task ended for me."-^^^ 

Herbert F. Margulies 

Iowa State Teachers College 
Cedar Falls 

109 Milwaukee Journal, November 24, 1914. 

110 C. C. Gittings to James A. Stone, January 28, 1916; A. W. Sanborn 
to Stone, February 14, 1916; Charles Crownhart to Stone, March 7, 1916; 
John P. Lewis to Stone, March 16, 1916, James A. Stone Papers; Frank 
B. Gesler to Merlin Hull, March 18, 1916, Merlin Hull Papers. 

111 Isaac Stephenson, Recollections of a Long Life, Chicago, 1915, 239. 

Ignatius Donnelly and the 
Greenback Movement 

On January 20, 1876, Ignatius Donnelly published in his news- 
paper, the Anti-Monopolist, the call for a National Independent 
party convention to be held in Indianapolis, Indiana, and by so doing, 
formally created the Greenback party in Minnesota.^ For the 
greenback movement in the state, his actions meant the acquisition 
of nationally recognized leadership, and for Donnelly, it meant 
a dramatic break with the past. This reversal on his part reflected 
a revolution in the thinking of agrarian leaders and reformers 
during the preceding two years. Viewed as a case study, Donnelly's 
greenback activities indicate that the movement is in need of reap- 
praisal, for they reveal that much that has been written concerning 
the appeal of greenbackism, the sources of the movement and its 
dynamics, and especially its relationship to subsequent reform is 
out of focus. 

Although the greenback issue had been long in coming to 
Minnesota, it had not been slow to mature after the Civil War. 
The United States had been utilizing paper money since 1862 and, 
although the Republicans had tended to favor a speedy return to 
specie more than the Democrats, hard times and political expediency 
had forced the maintenance of the greenbacks in circulation.^ 

Editor's Note: This paper, read at the May, 1957, meeting of the 
Mississippi Valley Historical Association, was made possible by a Grant- 
in-aid of Research from the Social Science Research Council. 

1 The Anti-Monopolist was published in St. Paul, Minnesota. Donnelly's 
political career prior to this time had been quite checkered. A Buchanan 
Democrat in Pennsylvania before moving to Minnesota, he became a 
Seward Republican in 1857. He was elected lieutenant governor of Min- 
nesota in 1859 and 1861 and served as one of the state's congressmen 
from 1863 to 1869. He lost his congressional seat after an intraparty 
struggle for the United States senatorship. In 1872 he became a Liberal 
Republican, and he led the Granger cause in Minnesota from 1873 to 1876. 
See John D. Hicks, "The Political Career of Ignatius Donnelly," Mississippi 
Valley Historical Revieiv, VIII (June, 1921), 80-132, and Martin Ridge, 
"Ignatius Donnelly and the Granger Movement in Minnesota," Missis- 
sippi Valley Historical Review, XLII (March, 1956), 693-709. For Don- 
nelly's later career as a Democrat see Horace S. Merrill, "Ignatius Don- 
nelly, James J. Hill, and the Cleveland Administration Patronage," Mis- 
sissippi Valley Historical Review, XXXIX (December, 1952), 505-518. 

2 The Far West, California in particular, remained on a coin economy 
during most of the period. For the legislative history of the greenback 
see Don C. Barrett, The Greenback and the Resumption of Specie Pay- 
ment, 1862-1879, Cambridge, 1931. 



But when the Democratic party won the Congressional elections 
of 1874, the Republicans in the lame duck session which followed 
experienced what came to be called their "death bed" repentance 
and passed the Resumption of Specie Act. The measure had three 
parts: one provided that gold would be paid for greenbacks after 
1878; the second called for the reduction of the number of green- 
backs from $382 million to $300 million; and the third specified that 
there would be a substitution of five dollars in national bank notes for 
every four dollars in greenbacks retired from use. This meant 
that $102 million in national bank notes would replace $82 million 
in greenbacks. Despite this seeming introduction of more money 
into the economy, the nation was aware that the administration had 
embarked upon a policy of deflation.^ 

Since most Americans favored a specie economy, supporters of 
the greenbacks were at a disadvantage. There had been instances 
and areas where "soft money" had found its advocates, but the 
tide of thought had been the other way. For the few, then, who 
came to accept the utility of the greenback, there was a marked period 
of transition. This was clearly evident in Ignatius Donnelly's case. 
As late as 1874, when he was lecturing before Granger audiences, 
Donnelly had condemned the greenback as inflationary and danger- 
ous to the economic welfare of the farmers. However, as the 
nation sank into the long depression of the 1870's, and farm prices 
appeared to plunge downward faster than those of the services 
which they purchased, Donnelly began to change his mind. In 
April, 1875, he wrote an editorial on what he called the "muddle 
of currency." At that time he did not take exception to the prin- 
ciple of deflation but to the extent and speed with which the 
administration was carrying it out.* His correspondence and his 
exchanges with other editors and politicians, especially J. A. Noonan 
of the Industrial Age, probably did more to change his views than 
anything else.^ When Donnelly attended the Minnesota Democratic 

3 The Resiimption of Specie Act also laid the national banks open to 
renewed criticism because of the provision which allowed them to purchase 
interest-bearing government bonds and then use these same bonds as secur- 
ity for interest-bearing loans of their own currency. Advocates of the 
greenback were quick to point out that this was a vast currency monopoly 
for which the people were forced to pay twice: once in legitimate interest 
and again in taxation. For a thorough analysis of this phase of the 
greenback movement see George L. Anderson, "Western Attitude Toward 
National Banks 1873-1874," Mississippi Valley Historical Review, XXIII 
(September, 1936), 205-216. 

4 St. Paul Anti-Monopolist, April 22, 1875. 

5 J[ames] A. Noonan to Donnelly, April 26, 1875, Donnelly Papers, 
Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul Minnesota. 


convention in the summer of 1875, he was enough of a greenbacker 
to introduce two resolutions critical of the administration's money 
policy.^ The first called for the maintenance of the existing num- 
ber of greenbacks in circulation while the government increased its 
gold reserves. The second condemned the policy of substituting 
national bank notes for greenbacks as subterfuge taxation of the 
poor. But the "old guard" Democrats, who would have nothing 
to do with such proposals, mustered enough votes to defeat them, 
and the Republican press rejoiced that at least the Minnesota Democ- 
racy had not gone over to the greenback heresy as had some other 
Democratic state organizations.'^ 

The fact that Donnelly's resolutions had failed to receive endorse- 
ment only served to provoke a debate on them during the state 
elections of 1875. Severely criticized as a wild inflationist, Don- 
nelly sought to define his position. In an editorial he explained 
that he did not advocate any expansion of currency unless it could 
be demonstrated that the United States had less money per capita 
than other civilized nations or that the expansion was needed by 
the business community. He did insist on continuing the greenbacks 
in circulation while the gold reserve was increased rather than 
diminishing the number during the process of gold acquisition. 
Donnelly still did not oppose a dollar based upon gold, but he was 
outspoken in his disapproval of a deflation which compelled the 
debtor class to pay thirty per cent more in goods and services than 
it had borrowed. "Who cares whether the medium of exchange 
is paper or gold.'^" he asked rhetorically; "what the nation wants 
is prosperity. Money is a mere incident — a means of exchange."^ 

Despite his growing enthusiasm for the greenback cause as he 
understood it, Donnelly was reluctant to join the new political move- 
ment which embraced it. Perhaps his restraint was based upon 
what had happened to the Liberal Republicans in 1872. In any 
event, he feared that "Wall Street" would gobble up the movement 
and his position as an anti-monopolist would be jeopardized.^ 
Nevertheless, when it became clear during the Minnesota legisla- 
tive session of 1876 that the coalition which he had forged into a 
Granger party was unable to effect anti-monopoly reforms, Don- 
nelly felt that there was no place left for him except in the green- 
back fold. 

6 St. Paul Pioneer Press, July 8, 1875. 

7 Ibid. 

8 St. Paul Anti-Monopolist, July 19, 1875. 

9 Ebenezer Ayres to Donnelly, August 25, 1875, Donnelly Papers. 


The State greenback organization which Donnelly spearheaded 
wa.s called the Independent Anti-Monopoly party. It sought to 
ecruit from all groups and made no special overtures toward the 
Democrats. -^^ The Neiv York Tribune took sarcastic notice of these 
doings in Minnesota when it stated that "Ignatius Donnelly is going 
to assemble himself in a convention again. He does it every year 
and the result is the same — nothing; and yet he never gets dis- 

In a way the Tribune erred; Donnelly did tend to become dis- 
couraged with greenbackism. Neither his dramatic speeches nor 
lis actions were effective in behalf of the party. The state conven- 
tion which he organized consisted of a pathetically small group. -^^ 
Despite the poor showing, Donnelly continued to use the columns 
of the Anti-Monopolist to defend the party while his own views 
on the money question matured. By the late spring of 1876, he 
advocated the repayment of government bonds in greenbacks. ^^ 
After all, he argued without subtlety, the government should not 
DC compelled to pay a premium for gold to satisfy its creditors. 

It is evident that Donnelly's national reputation as an orator 
and public figure preceded him to the party's national convention 
in Indianapolis. More than likely, also, the delegates overestimated 
his influence because he was named temporary chairman. It is 
well worth noting that his major address did not lay stress upon 
financial theory. He told his audience that 1876 was a centennial 
year, that the founding fathers had created a nation where the 
man should "outweigh the dollar," that it was absurd for Congress 
to haggle over the future of Jefferson Davis, and that the major 
parties were engaged in a colossal diversion while the real issues 
were obfuscated. The greenbackers were not afraid of live issues; 
they were not "pampered aristocrats" like Charles Francis Adams 
and the hard money liberals of New England; they were willing to 
deal with the real problem of economic opportunity for all classes. ^^ 

The platform of the Indianapolis convention reflected the opin- 
ions of the various economic and geographic groups present. The 
midwestern farmers insisted upon an end to railroad subsidization, 
while eastern labor advocated a drastic change in the government's 

10 St. Paul Anti-Monopolist, March 9, 1876. 

11 Quoted in the St. Paul Anti-Monopolist, March 23, 1875. 

12 Ibid., April 13, 1876. 

13 Oliver H. Page to Donnelly, April 10, 1876, Donnelly Papers, 

14 St. Paul Anti-Monopolist, May 25, 1876. 


monetary policy. Both elements favored the repeal of the Resump- 
tion Act and the sale of government bonds to Americans for paper 
rather than to Europeans for gold. The anti-monopolists probably 
demanded the plank rejecting the substitution of silver for paper as 
fractional currency. This group tended to view the remonetiza- 
tion of silver as the creation of a money monopoly which would favor 
the "silver interests." For this reason too, the convention voted 
down the recommendation that silver be reintroduced as a medium 
of exchange. -^^ 

The national convention had not stirred much enthusiasm for 
the greenback cause in Minnesota. At first Donnelly had diffi- 
culty convincing many of the reform groups in the state to ally 
themselves with it. Few were eager to join a party which promised 
so slim a chance for victory. ■'^^ Most of the work was done by a 
hardened corps of newspaper editors and politicians. It was this 
element which insisted that Donnelly lead a crusade, much as he 
had in behalf of the Grange only three years before, and arouse 
the people of Minnesota to the evils of deflation.^''' Donnelly 
courageously undertook the task by planning an extensive speak- 
ing tour, a series of articles in the Anti-Alonopolisf, and the pub- 
lication of thousands of handbills. He regretted being a candi- 
date for public office, but at the insistence of his party he accepted 
the nomination for Congress in Minnesota's Second Congressional 
District. With defeat a foregone conclusion, Donnelly sought, un- 
successfully, a possible fusion with the Democrats. -^^ 

As his campaign progressed, Donnelly's ideas about the money 
question underwent changes. He advocated the remonetization of 
silver, arguing that silver had been used to purchase government 
bonds during the war and that the government should be able to 
repay in the same commodity which it had borrowed. He recog- 
nized that this was far from valid, but he was becoming more and 
more a believer in a controlled currency and he felt that a return to 

15 The platform of the party quoted in Appletons' Annual Cyclopae- 
dia, 1876, 781. Hicks, "The Political Career of Ignatius Donnelly," MVHR, 
VIII, 97. St. Paul Anti-Monopolist, May 25, 1876. Chester McArthur 
Destler, American Radicalism 1865-1901, Ann Arbor, 1948, 60-62. Carl 
C. Taylor, The Farmers' Movement 1620-1920, New York, 1953, 185-187. 

16 W[illiam] Brown to Donnelly, July 21, 1876, Donnelly Papers. 

17 N. C. Martin to Donnelly, August 21, 1876, Ihid. See also Ridge, 
"Ignatius Donnelly and the Granger Movement in Minnesota," MVHR, 
XLII, 693-709. 

18 F. A. Davis to Donnelly, August 14, 1876 and Henry Poehler to 
Donnelly, September 29, 1876, Ibid. The St. Paul Anti-Monopolist, Sep- 
tember 14, 1876, and November 2, 1876. 


silver was one step in that direction. ^^ The entire appeal of the 
greenbackers scarcely influenced the voters of Minnesota. That 
Donnelly received more votes in the Second District than Peter 
Cooper, the party's presidential nominee, did in the entire state 
bears witness not only to the lack of greenback feeling among the 
people but also to the fact that Donnelly's name was associated with 
other causes. 

This election proved that the greenback issue standing alone was 
unable to attract a real following. Having attached himself to it, 
Donnelly had been isolated and defeated. His sole hope for 
political survival rested upon a vigorous reassertion of his role as 
an anti-monopolist reformer. He was still a member of the Minne- 
sota State Senate and his behavior during the 1877 session indicated 
his awareness of this situation. He fought to establish a State Com- 
missioner of Agriculture empowered to grade the quality of wheat.^^ 
He demanded that efforts be made to secure federal aid for Minne- 
sota farmers who were suffering the effects of a locust plague. 
And he waged a struggle for the passage of a usury law. He gained 
state-wide publicity when the Republican newspapers misinterpreted 
and misrepresented the measure to the people implying that it was 
radical and dangerous."^ But the bill passed. Donnelly considered 
this measure a great victory because it not only outlawed the charg- 
ing of interest in excess of twelve per cent but also established a 
strict punishment — cancellation of the obligation — upon the violator. 
He felt that this was the end of Minnesota's chattel mortgage 
Shylocks. "No more thrashing machines will be sold for three 
dollars each!" Donnelly announced, and the locust-plagued farm- 
ers in the western part of the state appreciated him for it."^ His 
reputation received another boost when the decision in the Granger 
Cases was made public. The Supreme Court had upheld the con- 
cept of railroad rate regulation for which he had been pilloried in 
the press. "Who will talk of communism and agrarianism now?" 
he asked the readers of his newspaper as he reminded them of past 
denunciations of him."^ 

Although his rise in public estimation brought him satisfaction, 
Donnelly was genuinely alarmed and troubled by the serious effects 
of the depression. Almost three million workers were unemployed 

19 St. Paul Anti-Monopolist, August 24, 1876. 

20 St. Paul Pioneer Press, January 11, 1877. 

21 Ibid., February 1, 1877. 

22 St. Paul Anti-Monopolist, March 8, 1877. 

23 Ibid. 


and wages seemed to lead prices downward. In July, 1877, came a 
series of violent strikes in which soldiers were used against the 
workers. The conservative newspapers of St. Paul, filled with 
stories of mobs and incendiarism, exhibited an inability to distinguish 
between a spontaneous outcry and a genuine revolution. "The 
commune is here," cried the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Donnelly took 
sharp and public exception with this interpretation of the strikes. 
He had a politician's distrust of violence, even noting the July 
events as a "horrible labor insurrection," but he could not condemn 
the workers.^'^ "Whenever a man attempts to defend his rights 
now-a-days he is called a communist," he wrote in the A?itt-Monop- 
olist. "When a starving populace clamor for work or bread they 
are called communists." And then he added caustically, "the com- 
munists of Europe want everything in common; — the communists 
in America are enjoying nothing in common — and plenty of it." 
Stop berating workers who want a living wage and farmers who 
want a fair profit, he warned the conservative press, the producer 
is entitled to all he can get, and it is the function of government 
in a republic to help him get it.^^ 

As the depression deepened a feeling grew among both Repub- 
licans and Democrats that expediency called for some change 
in monetary policy. This was clearly evident in Minnesota when 
William L. Banning, a leading Democrat and banker, convinced 
the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce, of which he was a member, to 
pass a resolution endorsing bimetalism."^ "Hard money" advo- 
cates in both parties denounced the "silver money maniacs" while 
denying emphatically that silver had been the "dollar of our fathers." 
The double standard they charged was outright repudiation.-'' 

This upswing in interest in the greenback was a source of alarm 
for Minnesota Republicans. Donnelly's independent party had been 
smashed, but if a fusion with the Democrats took place, it might 
be a real threat. Perhaps their worst fears were realized when 
William L. Banning accepted the greenback nomination for governor 
and proceeded to capture the Democratic endorsement as well. The 
Democratic platform, however, called for a greenback redeemable 
m coin."* 

This fusion of greenbackers and Democrats came none too soon 

24 Donnelly Diary, July 25, 1877, Donnelly Papers. 

25 St. Paul Anti-Monopolist, August 23, 1877. 

26 St. Paul Pioneer Press, April 11, 1877. 

27 Ibid., September 22, 1877, and November 28, 1877. 

28 Ihid., October 18, 1877. 


for Donnelly. His seat in the State Senate had always been con- 
tingent upon Democratic support. With this aid again available, 
albeit reluctantly given, Donnelly was reelected despite the over- 
whelming defeat of Banning by John S. Pillsbury the Republican 
incumbent. Donnelly was enthusiastic after surveying the national 
scene in 1877 because he felt that the greenbackers had won startling 
victories, especially in wooing Democratic support.-^ Although he 
was unable to attend the party convention in Toledo, Ohio, Don- 
nelly welcomed approvingly its platform including many pro-labor 
planks. Unlike some of the more inflationist-minded greenbackers, 
he did not reject the platform for its failure to endorse fiat money. ^'^ 

In the state legislative session which followed the election, Don- 
nelly continued to espouse the anti-monopoly cause. He did intro- 
duce a resolution instructing Minnesota's congressmen to support the 
Bland Silver Purchase Bill, but he focused most of his attention 
on a textbook measure championing the cause of free books pub- 
lished by the state. Despite angry cries of socialism which were 
once again raised, Donnelly claimed credit for saving economical 
education for Minnesota's youth. "^ 

An odd turn of events made Donnelly a significant figure in the 
election of 1878 and gave the greenback cause a final test in Min- 
nesota. A struggle within the Republican party for the nomination 
in the Third Congressional District led to the defeat of the in- 
cumbent Dr. J. H. Stewart, and the victory of William D. Washburn, 
a wealthy lumberman and miller. Since Washburn had been one 
of Donnelly's longtime political foes, a living symbol of all that 
anti-monopolism denounced, a movement was put underway to draft 
Donnelly to run against him. One of St. Paul's leading newspapers, 
the Globe, began the campaign by asserting that Donnelly was as 
much a resident of the Third as the Second Congressional District 
because he owned a farm and a newspaper in it.^" On that same 
day, William L. Banning asked Donnelly to be a candidate, "against 
the slab of lumber put up by the pine land ring,"^^ — an obvious jab 
at the none-too-clean reputation of the Minnesota lumbering in- 
terests. The Globe pursued the same path by quoting the Minne- 

29 St. Paul Anti-Monopolist, December 20, 1877, and June 18, 1878. 

30 Destler, American Radicalism 1865—1901, 64-65. 

31 Minnesota Legislatui'e, Senate Jouryial, 20th Session, 26. St. Paul 
Pioneer Press, January 17, 1878, February 25, 1878, and March 8, 1878. 
Donnelly Diary, March 2, 1878, Donnelly Papers. 

32 July 20, 1878. 

33 William L. Banning to Donnelly, July 20, 1878, Donnelly Papers. 


apolis Lumberman, a trade journal, to the effect that the lumbering 
interests were responsible for his nomination because they wanted 
"an able and zealous advocate in National Halls. . . ."^^ Donnelly, 
the Globe informed its readers, "being a frontier farmer . . . knows 
the needs of the frontier. His sympathy and voice have been on 
the side of the working man."^^ 

Despite assurances from Banning of a "first rate chance of being 
elected," Donnelly shrank from the opportunity. '"^^ The Third 
District included both St. Paul and Minneapolis, it was the focal 
point of Minnesota's great interests: railroads, milling, and lumber- 
ing. To win would mean a strenuous campaign, an efficient or- 
ganization and a thick purse. But offers of assistance came from 
many quarters. E. A. Cramsie, vice-president of the Workingmen's 
Union of Minneapolis, assured him that he could count upon the 
support of leading Republicans and labor men.^''' William L. 
Banning pledged the aid not only of the St. Paul Democrats but 
also of the party's national committee. ^^ 

The Greenback party in the Third District, dominated by or- 
ganized labor, eagerly pressed Donnelly to accept the nomination. 
He was afraid that the greenbackers would nominate him, but the 
Democrats would fail to do so. If this happened, the results would 
be tragic. He would have to be a candidate with no chance of 
victory or abandon the campaign and risk losing the friendship 
of labor which had been turning steadily toward the Greenback 
party for its advocacy of the eight hour day and the abolition of 
child labor as well as because of Donnelly's attitude toward unions 
during the strikes of 1877. 

Donnelly's fears were not realized. The Greenback-Labor party 
nomination was speedily seconded by the Democrats. It is worth 
noting that Donnelly told the Democratic convention that he was 
fighting to prevent the common laborer and producer from being 
driven into poverty and that he was seeking to save the country from 
an economic condition in which a dictator might arise.^^ He had 
told the greenback convention that he hoped to bring the two 
parties together on the money issue.*^ 

34 July 20, 1878. 

35 July 22, 1878. 

36 William L. Banning to Donnelly, July 23, 1878, and Donnelly Diary, 
July 24, 1878, Donnelly Papers. 

37 Donnelly Diary, Ibid. 

38 William L. Banning to Donnelly, July 27, 1878, Ibid. 

39 St. Paul Globe, September 7, 1878. 

40 Ibid., September 6, 1878. 


But this plan to make the greenback and, in a sense, the depres- 
sion prime issues in the campaign was overturned almost imme- 
diately. The price of wheat and how it was established became 
the issue for the farmers in the area. For years Minnesota farmers 
had been smarting under the criticism of such public figures as 
Henry Ward Beecher who asserted that the farmers had "too many 
eggs in one basket; farmers should grow something besides 
wheat. ..." Every Minnesotan realized that the prairie farmer could 
not plant "broom corn" or "rut a bagas," as Donnelly put it and 
make a profit.'*^ Since diversified agriculture was virtually im- 
possible in the region, the problem, as the farmers saw it, was not 
one of production but marketing. 

There was no grain exchange in Minnesota. Its place was taken 
by the Minneapolis Millers' Association. The farmers were not so 
much irritated by the Association's price fixing, because prices did 
have to conform to the world price, as they were by its absolute 
control over grading and quality of the grain since quality determined 
price locally.'*^ The quality was fixed by filling a two quart brass 
kettle and weighing its contents. The wrath of the farmers was 
stirred when it was discovered that the weight could be altered 
markedly by manipulating the filling process. "The lying little 
kettle" became the symbol of the dishonesty of monopoly and the 
corruption of the Republicans.'*^ 

The fact that William D. Washburn was a member of the Millers' 
Association attached the twin evils of monopoly and corruption to 
him. "Down with Washburn and the swindling brass kettle!" 
boomed the Democratic press. Donnelly was informed that this 
battle cry was a "regular Krupp gun. It is one of the most dam- 
aging projectiles that was ever shot off in any political campaign. "^^ 
Before long the greenback question and the depression had all but 
been forgotten. Even Donnelly could not make currency a mag- 
netic question. The farmers wanted to know about the brass kettle, 
the usury legislation and the textbook measure which he had es- 
poused. Labor seemed satisfied with this attack upon business 

41 Quoted in the St. Paul Anti-Monopolist, August 22, 1878. 

42 Henrietta M. Larson, The Wheat Market and the Farmer in Minne- 
sota, New York, 1926, 91, 133, and 149. 

43 Harlan P. Hall, Observations: Being more or less a history of 
Political Contests from 18A9 to 1904, St. Paul, 1904, 228. 

44 St. Paul Globe, October 15, 1878, Thomas G. Mealy to Donnelly, 
October 20, 1878, Donnelly Papers. 


dishonesty and his pro-labor tradition. It was the Republican news- 
paper press which argued currency and radicalism. 

Is there a spirit of agrarianism, he is its embodiment. Has Kearneyism 
a following in Minnesota, he is its prophet. Are there communists, they are 
for Donnelly. He reflects the bad purposes and bad passions which are 
either dormant or avowed in our State. The "tramps' of course, follow his 
banner; and the communists of society, by instinct, will give him their 
support. ... If there are those who desire a revolution in government and 
society, Donnelly is their representative and hope.'*^ 

When the votes were tallied, Donnelly found that he had been 
defeated by almost 3,000 votes out of roughly 39,000 votes cast. 
At the insistence of his friends, Donnelly contested the election 
charging numerous frauds and irregularities. When many of his 
charges were sustained, the House decided not to award Washburn 
his seat but neither was Donnelly seated. Ironically enough, James 
B. Weaver, the Greenback-Labor party presidential standard bearer 
in 1880, voted against Donnelly in the elections subcommittee vote.^^ 

With Donnelly's defeat the Minnesota greenback movement 
virtually collapsed. The brass kettle was abandoned, at least tem- 
porarily, by the millers. Farm prices rose in the face of poor Euro- 
pean harvests. Industrial development was revived with railroad 
activity. The depression was drawing to a close.*^ Donnelly, like 
many other greenbackers, was discredited by this return to prosperity. 

Donnelly and the Minnesota greenback experience confirm and 
deny some current interpretations of greenbackism. For one thing, 
the oldest, and most generally held opinion, that the greenbackers 
were western farmers seeking to escape mortgage indebtedness 
through inflation, appears invalid in Minnesota. '^^ The farmers not 
only failed to generate the movement but they would not accept 
it in 1876. Even when the greenback was supported by the Demo- 
crats and linked with popular suggestions which were anti-monopoly 

45 St. Paul Pioneer Press, October 29, 1878. 

46 House Miscellaneous Documents, 46th Congress, 1st Session, No. 9. 
Frank J. Mead to Donnelly, November 7, 1878, Donnelly Papers. St. 
Paul Globe, April 5, 1880. 

47 Rendig Fels, "American Business Cycles, 1865-1878," The Amer- 
ican Economic Review, XLI (June, 1951), 348. 

48 Orin G. Libby, "A Study of the Greenback Movement," Transactions 
of tfie Wisconsin Acadetny XII (1809), 530-543. Libby's statistics are 
very valuable and his generalizations about crop diversification and the 
greenback were confirmed in part by Clyde O. Ruggles, "The Economic 
Basis of the Greenback Movement in Iowa and Wisconsin," Proceedings 
of the Mississippi Valley Historical Associatio7i (Cedar Rapids) VI 
(1913), 142-165. 


or anti-trust in nature, it still was not sustained. It can be sug- 
gested that a good reason for farmers to reject the greenback was 
the availability of money for loans in the Midwest at steadily de- 
clining interest rates during the period after 1873 because eastern 
investors saw greater security and returns in the farm mortgage 
field. ^^ Another explanation may be found in the tendency to 
extend the reasoning v/hich had been so current in the Granger 
Era that middle men were siphoning off the profits. It was there- 
fore simple to shift the guilt from railroads to millers as was done 
in the case of the brass kettle. There is also evidence to indicate 
that Donnelly and other greenback leaders had overdrawn the pic- 
ture of the disparity between farm and non-farm prices. The farm- 
er was in a depression but he may have been relatively better off 
than the politician and the rural press seemed to indicate. ^^ 

Another generally expressed view is that the greenback was 
very popular among non-farm labor by 1878.^^ The Minnesota 
evidence tends to support this position, but a reservation should 
be added that non-farm labor in Minnesota appeared more inter- 
ested in the peripheral program of the party and in the nature of 
its leadership. By 1878 greenbackism embraced the major demands 
of union labor and this should not be under-rated. 

In many ways the most keenly argued opinion in regard to 
greenbackism is that it was neither agrarian nor western in origin, 
that it possessed a complete and radical economic theory, and that 
it was reshaped through contact with the western farm problem. ^^ 
Donnelly's case indicates that the greenback was hardly indigenous 
to Minnesota. He was deeply influenced by the press — and some 
of it urban press at that. His reshaping of the idea, if it can be 
called that, was to deepen its anti-monopoly bias. But as for the 
idea that greenback theory was complete and radical in its expres- 
sion, this was not true in Minnesota. In fact, if Donnelly is typical 

49 Allan B. Bogue, Money at Interest, Ithaca, 1955, 82. Bogue also 
implies that the frontier farmer's use of the mortgage has been misin- 
terpreted when historians seek to relate mortgages to political unrest. 

50 0. V. Wells, "The Depression of 1873-79," Agricultural History, 
XI (July, 1937), 237-249, indicates that farm and non-farm prices were 
much closer together than during the Granger period. 

51 Reginald McGrane, "Ohio and the Greenback Movement," MVHR, 
XI (December, 1924), 533-534. For a detailed analysis of the role of 
labor in the movement see Destler, American Radicalism 1865-1901, 50-77, 
and John R. Commons and Associates, History of Labor in the United 
States, New York, 1926, II, 240-251. 

52 Destler, American Radicalism 1865-1901, 50-66. 


of midwestern greenbackers, they had no monetary theory at all, 
unless it can be argued that the demand for legislation in the field 
of currency as a means and not an end in itself can be termed 
a monetary theory. Certainly Donnelly's views were far from 
static or consistent. 

The last of the significant views of greenbackism conceives of it 
as an indication of a lack of faith in the "greater capitalism" which 
was emerging during the nineteenth century. ^^ Donnelly's role 
appears to vindicate this opinion. The system of economic rewards 
and profits was not directly challenged by the greenbackers but 
their emphasis was placed on utilizing government's power to bring 
a more honest functioning of it. Viewed in this light, perhaps the 
historical significance of the movement is most clear. It served 
as a vehicle of social criticism. With irony one might call attention 
to Henry D. Lloyd's oft-quoted condemnation in 1896 of the money 
issue as the cowbird in the nest of reform — in the 1870's the 
money issue was the nest itself.^^ Because of this, Donnelly and the 
other greenbackers helped create in the public consciousness the idea 
that the morals of business and government were in need of reap- 
praisal, and by so doing, helped to formulate the mood that was 

Martin Ridge 

San Diego State College 

53 Solon J. Buck, The Granger Movement 1870-1880, Cambridge, 1913, 
311. See also, Samuel Rezneck, "Distress, Relief, and Discontent in the 
United States During the Depression of 1873-1878," Journal of Political 
Economy, LVIII (December, 1950), 508. 

54 Caro Lloyd, Henry Demarest Lloyd, New York, 1912, I, 263. 

Bryan and the Urban Progressives 

The Progressive Era was a period in which the nation seemed 
to awaken from slumber as a new dawn chased away shadows of 
venality and selfishness from political and economic life. He who 
does what is true, reasoned Americans, comes to the light, and they 
were ready to believe that the rosy tints sweeping over the landscape 
emanated from the light that shone more and more unto the perfect 
day. The dawn symbolized progress, for progress was as pervading 
and as inevitable as the dawn. Progressivism was not peculiar to 
any single element of American society. It was a mass movement 
transcending Populistic agrarianism and urban humanitarianism, 
rural radicalism and respectable middle class reform. The philoso- 
phy of the movement could not be expressed in neat, consistent, 
logical formulae; it was the product of a faith without dogmatic 
structure if not without dogma. -^ 

Admittedly the Progressive Movement, with its heterogeneous 
ideological content, defies generalization. Yet it does lend itself to 
classification, and at least two categories of Progressivism can be 
identified and described with some degree of accuracy: one influ- 
enced chiefly by the agrarian inheritance, and the other resulting 
from what were primarily urban developments. As Professor Rich- 
ard Hofstadter has shown, much of the impetus of the Progres- 
sive Movement was urban in origin." But agrarian influences in 
the reform movement were not entirely negligible, and William 
Jennings Bryan served admirably as a Progressive spokesman for 
rural America.^ To contrast Bryan with urban Progressives such as 
Theodore Roosevelt, therefore, is to contrast one type of Progres- 
sivism with another, and one of the supreme ironies of the Nebras- 
kan's career as a political leader is that he found himself in opposi- 
tion to men with whom he had much in common. In spite of 
similarities between urban and rural branches of the Progressive 

1 Ralph Gabriel, The Course of American Democratic Thought, New 
York, 1956, 360. 

2 Richard Hofstadter, The Age of Reform, New York, 1955, 131-134. 
The basis for the transition from Mugwump to Progressive is also indi- 
cated in Alan Pendleton Grimes, The Political Liberalism of the New York 
Nation, "The James Sprunt Studies in History and Political Science," 
XXXIV, Durham, N. C., 1953. 

3 Theodore Saloutos and John D. Hicks, Agricultural Discontent in 
the Middle West, 1900-1939, Madison, Wis., 1951, 32-33. 



Movement, however, differences did exist, and Bryan's place in 
American history is set in this context. 

The Commoner's thought was based primarily upon his emo- 
tions rather than upon his intellect; leaders of the urban Progres- 
sives were more inclined toward rationalism. Insofar as he followed 
the dictates of his heart rather than his mind, Bryan was romantic, 
and his ready acceptance of the sturdy yeoman's cause in the 
Populist period indicates a romantic temperament. He did not offer 
proof that the "gold ring" or the "money power" had deliberately 
set out to bilk the farmer of his just rewards. He only saw that the 
stout-hearted pioneer men and women who had braved the elements 
in establishing homesteads on the plains were suffering, and rely- 
ing on his intuition, he concluded that much of their suffering was 
the result of heartless and callous exploitation. Bryan was always 
sensitive to social wrongs; but often without taking the time to 
analyze the specific causes of injustice, he advocated remedies and 
reforms based upon the assumption that the urban, financial cen- 
ters of the East were the source of all evil. The Progressive leaders 
of these urban centers could not, of course, accept this assumption 
with such ease. Theirs was a realistic rather than a romantic ap- 
proach. The city with its universities and its well-educated and 
respectable reformers encouraged painstaking investigation and fact 
finding.'* Urban Progressives were, for the most part, members 
of the intelligensia ; unlike Bryan and his agrarian followers, they 
distrusted emotion and placed their faith in reason. In the preface 
to his little book, Sin and Society, which had great appeal for the 
urban Progressive, Edward Alsworth Ross wrote: 

This book deals with sin, but it does not entreat the sinner to mend his ways. 
It seeks to influence no one in his conduct. It does seek to influence men 
271 their attitude toward the conduct of others. Its exhortation is not Be 
good, but Be rational. To modify conduct one touches the heart. To 
modify the judgments on conduct one speaks to the intellect. The latter is 
the method of this book. Its aim is to enlighten rather than to move.^ 

4 Grimes, The Political Liberalism of the New York Nation, 43-45. In 
describing the views of such reformers, Grimes writes, "Rational men 
would weigh the characters of contending candidates in the scales of 
virtue and register a reasoned choice in favor of morality and learning." 
And again, ". . . the aim of the respectable reformers was to give to the 
'virtuous and educated greater weight in political affairs than the 
'machines' permitted." 

5 Ross, Sm and Society, New York, 1907, vii. Whether or not Ross 
himself should be considered an urban Progressive is debatable. A native 
of Iowa, he had been a disciple of Henry George during his undergraduate 
days at Coe College. He became a well-known sociologist and a member 


3ryan preached a message of love and taught that America would 
progress to the fulfillment of her mission when the love of man 
or man became universal. The urban Progressives espoused a 
;cientific humanism. "Your pious leanings are not in accord with 
he progressive reform and regenerative movement of the age," 
wrote one of Bryan's correspondents.^ Such men believed that 
rogress would come through the exercise of man's rational facul- 
ties, that if social evils were to be eliminated it would be as the 
result of scientific investigation. 

Bryan and the urban Progressives, therefore, developed differ- 
ng conceptions of reality. When the latter undertook the investi- 
gation of slum conditions, the frauds perpetrated by political ma- 
chines, the manipulations of financiers, the widespread vice that 
'lourished in rapidly growing cities, they came to the conclusion 
that evil doing was universal. For them reality was, as Profes- 
sor Hofstadter has put it, "the bribe, the rebate, the bought franchise, 
the sale of adulterated food."^ Reality was the sin of society; the 
virtues of American life seemed fictitious, unreal. Bryan, with his 
invincible faith in the common man, believed that wrong doing 
was the work of a vicious few. Reality for him included the dignity 
of those who earned their bread by the sweat of the brow on the 
one hand, and on the other the utter depravity of a few conspira- 
tors of great wealth and power who had contrived to appropriate 
the worker's bread for their own selfish purposes. Drawing upon 
this view of reality, Bryan dashed off his comment upon Thomas 
Lawson's widely read muckraking series on the operations of the 
stock market, "Frenzied Finance": 

Mr. Lawson's phrase, "Trenzied Finance," is too mild. Conscienceless fi- 
nance is a more accurate description of what goes on in Wall street. 
"Frenzied" would imply an excitement so intense as to temporarily suspend 
the operation of the reason, but some of the Wall street transactions are 
deliberately contrived schemes for deception and pillage. ^ 

The rapid industrialization of the United States after the Civil 
War brought a train of abuses deplored by both urban and rural 
Progressives and figuring prominently in their respective concep- 

of LaFollette's brain trust at Wisconsin. Although he imbibed some of 
the ideas of urban Progressives, his association with the radical agrarian 
tradition left its mai'k upon him. 

6 H. G. Day to Bryan, January 24, 1901, Bryan Papers, Library of 

7 Hofstadter, The Age of Reform, 200. 

8 The Commoner, January 20, 1905. Italics mine. See Thomas Law- 
son, "Frenzied Finance; The Story of Amalgamated," Everybody's, XII, 
XIII, XIV (January, 1905-February, 1906). 


tions of reality. Just as these views on the nature of reality dif- 
fered, so also did urban and rural reactions to post war economic 
developments differ. The nationalizing of business was accompanied 
by a status revolution in which the urban gentry of long established 
wealth and social position saw itself being replaced by the new cap- 
tain of industry as a controlling power in American life.^ While 
the urban Progressives thus felt the pressure of a status revolution, 
the rural Progressives believed that they had already experienced 
one. The yeoman farmer of the Jeffersonian tradition had disap- 
peared; at least, the most important population groups were no 
longer agrarian. The Populist crusade represented, in part, an 
attempt to regain what farmers thought had been lost as a result 
of the machinations of the "money power. "^"^ In other words, the 
appeal of the urban Progressives was to those who still had some- 
thing to lose; the rural Progressives, heirs of the Populists, believed 
they had already lost something — their birthright. 

This sense of loss was perhaps most apparent in the nativist 
tendencies of both the Populists and the rural Progressives. The 
influx of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe came at a 
time when industry was expanding rapidly and when farmers were 
agitating against malpractices of industrialists. It was inevitable 
that industrialism and immigration should be linked together. With 
immigrants pouring into congested industrial areas, farmers be- 
lieved themselves not only exploited but outnumbered. The pre- 
Civil War animosities arising from the South's conception of itself 
as a minority gave place to fears and hatreds stemming, in part, 
from the minority consciousness of "native American" farmers in 
both the West and the South. ^^ Yet the foundations of nativism 

9 Hofstadter, The Age of Reform, 137. 

10 Ibid., 33-35, 70-81. See also Hallie Farmer, "Economic Background 
of Frontier Populism," Mississippi Valley Historical Review, X (1924), 
406-427; Roger V. Clements, "The Farmers' Attitude Toward British 
Investments in American Industry," The Journal of Economic History, XV 
(1955), 151-159. "No one can confuse in his own mind," said Bryan 
in a passage which reflects the Populist influence, "the difference between 
buying wheat or oats or corn because he has immediate need for them or 
is in a position to store them for future use, and the purchase for specu- 
lative purposes of grain which he does not expect to receive, or the sale 
for speculative purposes of grain which he does not expect to deliver," And 
yet, he concluded, it was the refusal to observe this distinction that had 
brought about the "ruin of so many fortunes, and the wreck of so many 
lives." "The Next Awakening," Public Opinion, XXXVIII (May 27, 1905), 

11 This tendency toward nativism is most pronounced in the career 
of Tom Watson. See C. Vann Woodward, Tom Watson: Agrarian Rebel, 
New York, 1938, especially Chapters XXII and XXIII. But nativism 
among agrarian groups was by no means confined to the South. 


were religious as well as economic. When the church of the immi- 
grant happened to be Catholic, as was the case with many of those 
who came from southern and eastern Europe, the latitudinarianism 
of American Protestantism seemed threatened. It was then an easy 
matter for rural Progressives to extend their distrust of the "money 
power" to the immigrant, and their suspicion of the immigrant to the 
hierarchy of his church.^- 

This is not to say that urban Progressives were not also troubled 
by the immigrant, his outlook, and his institutions. Huddled in 
urban slums, immigrants were easy prey for machine politicians, 
and Progressives of the cities enlisted in the effort to facilitate 
Americanization of newcomers. The great gulf fixed between im- 
migrants and reform groups in industrial areas was difficult to 
bridge, however, for it was a gulf between two types of ethos. The 
immigrant regarded political relationships as personal rather than 
institutional, and he remained indifferent to the rationalistic appeals 
of urban Progressives.-^" Efficiency, system, order, balanced bud- 
gets, improved administration, and lower taxes were rejected by the 
immigrant. He wanted humanity, not balanced budgets; sympathy 
and assistance, not efficiency and order; mercy without justice, not 
justice without mercy. ■^'* Thus Progressives of the metropolitan 
areas never established rapport with immigrant groups, but the 
trend of urban Progressivism was in the direction of at least a 
theoretical acceptance of the newcomer. ^^ The new immigration 
created difficulties, of course, but they were difficulties that could 
be met scientifically. The attitude of the urban Progressives seldom 
took the form of religious bigotry. 

12 The attitude of the immigrant toward his church was conservative. 
Religion was a way of life, providing continuity with the past. Permanence 
of form offered some security in his world of uncertainty. See Oscar 
Handlin, The Uprooted, Boston, 1952, 119, 142; Marcus Hansen, The Im- 
migrant in American History, Cambridge, Mass., 1942, 91. This conser- 
vatism ran counter to the mainstream of American church history, which 
has resulted in an emphasis on moralism rather than on dogma. In this 
connection the work of Professor Sidney Mead is suggestive. See his 
"Denominationalism: The Shape of Protestantism in America," Church 
History, XXIII (1954), 291-320. 

13 Handlin, The Uprooted, 218-221. 

14 Hofstadter, The Age of Reform, 183-184. For all the graft and 
corruption associated with city machines, this much can be said for them: 
they did understand the immigrant mind and they did provide help when 
help was needed. "I stick to my friends high and low, do them a good 
turn v/henever I get a chance, and hunt up all the jobs going for my 
constituents," said George Washington Plunkitt of Tammany Hall. Here 
was an approach the immigrant could comprehend. See William L. Rior- 
dan, Plunkitt of Tammany Hall, ed. Roy V. Peel, New York, 1948, 63. 

15 Eric Goldman, Rendezvous with Destiny, New York, 1953, 78, 84. 


Where the Populist tradition was strong, nativist ideas were 
widely received and voters were led to accept tenuous evidence as 
proof of conspiracy against their way of life. The election of 1908 
provides an illustration of the complications arising from aroused 
ethnic and religious sensitivities. Willam Howard Taft, while serv- 
ing as civil governor of the Philippines, had helped to solve a 
problem concerning the disposition of lands formerly held by Spanish 
friars. To do so, it had been necessary for him to negotiate directly 
with the Vatican, and when Taft became the Republican nominee, 
those negotiations were recalled as indicative of his friendliness 
toward Rome.-^^ "The Republicans are making an effort to reach 
our Catholic Democrats," Bryan wrote Henry Watterson, "but we 
are planning to meet this, and will, I think succeed measurably well, 
although I would not be surprised if we lost a little in this direc- 

When the returns were in, many who had supported Bryan were 
convinced that he had lost more in that direction than anyone had 
anticipated. Correspondence in the Bryan Papers relating to this 
election is voluminous, and the letters he received suggest a wide- 
spread belief that the Papacy had interfered with American demo- 
cratic processes, that the election of Taft was part of a twentieth 
century popish plot.-^^ Bryan made extensive inquiries, and for 
several weeks printed letters in The Commoner under the headline 
"Solving the Mystery of 1908." But in spite of his efforts the 
mystery remained unsolved, and the degree to which Catholic in- 
fluence caused defections from the Democracy was an enigma that 
plagued the Commoner the rest of his days.-^^ 

16 The problem is thoroughly discussed in Henry F. Pringle, The Life 
and Times of William Hoivard Taft, New York, 1939, I, 220-231. 

17 Bryan to Watterson, August 17, 1908, Watterson Papers, Library 
of Congress. 

18 See the Bryan Papers, especially those for November, 1908. The 
following observations are typical: "We are in the grasp of Rome. And 
no man who is not a sympathizer with the Catholic can be elected." "I 
want to call your attention to the two greatest sources of danger to our 
country, viz. catholocisni [sic] and foreign imnnigration. ... I am not a 
member of any church, nor am I an infidel, therefore am not a church 
fanatic, but / am an American with the deepest concern for my country." 
"There seems to be no doubt about the Catholics having had their instruc- 
tions from Rome to vote for Mr. Taft. . . ." "The Catholics have paid the 
Republican party for what they have done for them in the P.I." 

19 It was the degree to which the Catholic Church influenced the elec- 
tion that puzzled Bryan. He was convinced, however, that defections did 
occui\ During the campaign of 1912, he wrote: "We need to do some- 
thing to bring back the catholics [sic] who voted for Taft in 1908 and 
who will vote for him this year. That is the one weak point in our fight 
this year." Bryan to Woodrow Wilson, n.d., stamped "Answered, July 
31, 1912," Wilson Papers, Library of Congress. 


While Bryan's correspondence did not enable him to arrive at 
conclusions that were entirely satisfactory, it does contain evidence 
of considerable nativist backing. And this nativist support begs 
an even more important question: what influence did such persons 
and groups have upon his thought and activities? During the 
period from 1896 to 1912, when Bryan served as his party's most ef- 
fective leader, he resisted nativist appeals. He hoped to win back 
Catholic voters, rather than proscribe them. Entreaties to form a 
"native American" party left him unmoved. His basic interest 
throughout these years was that the Democratic party should adopt 
the reforms he advocated and serve to make them effective. The 
accomplishment of this objective required political sagacity as well 
as political realism, for it demanded that a party composed of 
heterogeneous elements be persuaded to take united action. Bryan, 
like the urban Progressives, was not successful in winning support 
for his reforms among immigrant groups. ^'^ Yet he was able to 
retain the fealty of many who opposed and feared the immigrant, 
and in so doing he was in no small measure responsible for keeping 
"sons of the wild jackass" inside the Progressive corral. Just as 
city bosses understood the immigrant and won his allegiance, so 
Bryan understood rural America and commanded its support. Per- 
haps the most significant difference between Bryan and the bosses 
lies in his acceptance of reforms that made the bosses writhe in 
anguish. But a not insignificant difference between Bryan and the 
urban Progressives developed from his attitude toward realistic 
democracy, and the pragmatic leadership he gave his party.^-^ 

20 Handlin, The Uprooted, 218; Hansen, The Immigrant in American 
History, 92-95. Hansen points out that the sons of immigrants were 
more inclined to accept reform. They lost the conservatism of new property 
holders and they were far more ready to join in placing economic restric- 
tions upon individuals than their fathers had been. 

21 References to Bryan as a demagogue and to his political insin- 
cerity are legion, and are not by any means confined to urban Progres- 
sive writings. Taken together they indicate a general unwillingness on 
the part of his opponents to recognize Bryan's skill as a practical politician. 
At any rate, Populists such as Henry Demarest Lloyd, conservatives such as 
Grover Cleveland, and urban Progressives such as Theodore Roosevelt could 
have agreed with H. L. Mencken that "if the fellow was sincere, then so 
was P. T. Barnum." Americayi Mercury, VI (October, 1925), 159. Repre- 
sentative of the views expressed by urban Progressives and their followers 
was a letter from William Allen White which doubtless pleased Roosevelt 
immensely. In commenting upon the differences between the Progressiv- 
ism of Roosevelt and Bryan, White observed that they were "so entirely 
technical, so nice in their adjustment, that it will strain democracy to the 
utmost to furnish public wisdom to see the truth and keep the demagogue's 
foot off the scales." White to Roosevelt, October 16, 1908, White Papers, 
Library of Congress. Roosevelt himself thought Bryan disingenuous, to 


Although Bryan's fame rested in large part upon his oratory, 
his weekly newspaper, The Commoner, was as important an organ 
as his matchless voice in the exercise of political leadership. And 
newspapers and magazines — particularly the latter — were also vital 
for the urban wing of the Progressive Movement. The relationship 
between editor Bryan and the urban journalists known as muckrakers 
is therefore necessary to an understanding of the relationship be- 
tween the urban and rural Progressives. 

The primary concern of the muckraking periodicals was in ac- 
curate and objective description. And the literature of exposure, 
which is as old as the bawdy planet, took on a new intensity when 
magazines such as McClure's, Everybody's, Cosmopolitan, or Collier's 
served up dishes that were not so dainty to set before fact-hungry 
readers. Few would deny that the muckrakers became interested 
in securing reforms. They nevertheless believed that exposure of 
evil was a necessary prelude to reform. No one more clearly stated 
the position of the muckraker than did Ray Stannard Baker during 
a conversation with Jack London. When London asked him why 
he was not a socialist, Baker replied: 

You see, I'm not a reformer. I'm a reporter. I have only begun to look 
at the world. I want to see it all more dearly and understand it better, 
before I pledge myself to any final solution for the evils we both see. I'm 
not sure yet that if either you or I made over the world, it would be any 
better than the one we now have. We don't know enough. 2 2 

In the minds of its purveyors, muckraking was thus an expression 
of the urban Progressive impulse: scientific, objective, unbiased, sug- 
gesting few specific solutions or answers and no sweeping altera- 
tions in the American social and economic system. 

The contents of The Commoner , in contrast to the muckraking 
journals, were almost exclusively editorial, for Bryan thought it his 
principal duty to present his point of view on every issue and event. 
He perhaps could not have adopted the muckrakers' approach even 
had he so desired; his resources were too limited. He did not, 
however, feel any need to engage in muckraking. While the muck- 

say the least. "What an insincere canvass our opponents are waging this 
year," he wrote when Bryan campaigned for Alton B. Parker. Roosevelt 
to Ed Crumpacker, October 12, 1904, Roosevelt Papers, Library of 
Congress. And in 1908, he urged Taft to "hit them hard, old man!" Then 
he added, "Why not call attention to Bryan's insincerity in saying he was 
my heir. . . ." Roosevelt to Taft, September 1, 1908, Taft Papers, Library 
of Congress. 

22 Baker, American Chronicle, New York, 1945, 139. 


raking magazines were devoted to facts, The Commoner was devoted 
to arguments. The people, thought Bryan, were like jurors who 
should be presented with arguments on both sides of a question 
before making any decision.^" He was committed to the principle 
that "truth is born of conflict" and, as he conceived it, his function 
as editor coincided with his function as leader of the political op- 

Although Bryan frequently made use of the findings of the 
muckrakers, he did so to buttress his arguments. Again and again 
he was able to point to their articles as proof of what he had been 
saying since his entry into public life. To the muckrakers, the ex- 
posures were so sweeping that existing abuses seemed attributable 
to society as a whole. "We all are doing our worst," said S. S. 
McClure, "and making the public pay."^* Bryan, uncompromising, 
never gave up the idea that the "money trust" was responsible 
for the evils in American life. "The thimbleriggers at a street 
fair," he wrote, "are engaged in more honorable business for they 
cheat those who are foolish enough to risk money on a game known 
to be dishonest, but these thimbleriggers of high finance rob the 
helpless and the dependents under the guise of doing an honest 
business."-^ Working from this assumption, it was easy for Bryan 
to suggest a program for the reform of abuses; it is always easier 
to pass laws preventing the misdeeds of a few than to legislate for 
a whole people. 

The interaction between Bryan and the muckrakers in the jour- 
nalistic sphere therefore parallels the interaction between the rural 
and urban wings of the Progressive Movement in the realm of po- 
litical action. The urban Progressives, feeling the pressures of a 
status revolution, demanded reform and through the muckrakers 
provided concrete evidence of evils in American society. But the 
urban Progressives were reluctant to suggest specific policies for 
making reform effective. The rural Progressives started with a 
program they had inherited from the Populists, and this program, 
modified, seemed to meet the problems which troubled the urban 
wing of the movement. Thus it would not be too much to say that 
the two wings of Progressivism were complementary; the urban 
group demonstrated the need for a change, while the rural group 

23 The Commoner, November 28, 1902. 

24 McClure' s Magazine, XX (January, 1903), 336. 

25 The Commoner, July 14, 1905. 


led by Bryan produced a program which became the basis for change. 
Roosevelt's adoption of plank after plank from the Bryan platform 
becomes intelligible when it is seen as the result of this dialectic 
at work within the Progressive Movement. 

Nevertheless Roosevelt was at heart conservative, and were it 
not for his desire to thwart radicalism by correcting some of the 
evils of the status quo, he might never have become a Progressive 
at all. Even as a Progressive, he made a habit of balancing good 
and evil: the good trust as opposed to the bad trust, for example.^^ 
Roosevelt's equivocation served to mitigate what had originally 
seemed a radical program; in his hands the Bryan planks were cut 
and planed and used to construct a moderate platform. To say 
with Vachel Lindsay that T. R. aped Bryan is to voice a partial 
truth; but equally accurate would be the observation that Bryan 
aped T. R. It took no keen perception to see that Roosevelt was 
immensely popular with voters, and before long Bryan was taking 
pains to point out that he, too, was fundamentally conservative.^^ 
By I9O8, the Netv York World thought Bryan had become an en- 
tirely new personality: "The old-time impulsiveness has utterly van- 
ished and exaggerated caution has taken its place. ""^ And in his 
speech accepting the Democratic nomination that year, the Commoner 
said, "I have such confidence in the intelligence as well as the 
patriotism of the people, that I cannot doubt their readiness to 
accept the reasonable reforms which our party proposes, rather than 
permit the continued growth of existing abuses to hurry the country 
on to remedies more radical and more drastic.""^ 

After his defeat, Bryan's supporters consoled him by pointing 
out that in a constitutional government the political opposition may 
sometimes be credited with more significant achievement than the 

26 "T. R. saw the machine; he did not see the system," thought Lincoln 
Steffens. "He saw the party organization of the politicians; he saw 
some 'bad' trusts back of the bad politics, but he did not see the good 
trusts back of the bad trusts that were back of the bad machines." The 
Autobiography of Lincoln Steffens, New York, 1931, 505. 

27 "Not only is the reformer the real defender of property rights, but 
he is the best friend of the very persons who abuse him," Bryan wrote 
in 1905. "Just as that physician is the best one who points out to his 
patient the dangers of the disease from which he suffers and proposes 
the best remedy, no matter how severe, so those are the best friends of 
the rich who attempt to restrain excesses and correct abuses." The 
Commoner, July 7, 1905. 

28 New York World, July 5, 1908. 

29 The Campaign Text Book of the Democratic Party of the United 
States, 1908, 243. 


party in power. ^° Certainly Bryan's opposition had some share in 
wringing about the positive results of the Progressive Era. At the 
ame time the very success of a modified Bryan program tended to 
make the Commoner himself more moderate and respectable, and, 
toward the end of Roosevelt's administration, less effective as a 
eader of political opposition. Success in failure was accompanied 
Dy failure in success. But the last acts of the tragedy were yet to be 
clayed. In his later years, Bryan became identified with the nativist 
demands he had once resisted. Personal defeat and ridicule took 
their toll, he lost contact with the pulse of the nation, and he was 
mocked where he had once been praised. A sense of loss overtook 
him, and in its shadow he was embraced by the Ku Klux Klan.^^ 

Paul W. Glad 

Coe College 

30 See William J. Gaynor to Bryan, November 13, 1908, Bryan Papers, 
Library of Congress. 

31 Marietta Stevenson, "William Jennings Bryan as a Political Leader" 
(unpublished Ph.D. dissertation. University of Chicago, 1926), 269-275; 
Paxton Hibben and C. Hartley Grattan, The Peerless Leader, William 
Jennings Bryan, New York, 1929, 381-387. 

Thomas P. Gore and the Election 
of Woodrow Wilson 

William F. McCombs, William G. McAdoo, and Walter Hines 
Page received a great deal of support from lesser politicians in 
their successful movement to make Woodrow Wilson President 
of the United States. One of the most important of the second 
echelon of leaders in the 1911-1912 presidential contest was Okla- 
homa's blind Senator, Thomas P. Gore. Except for his part in the 
belligerent armed ship controversy of the spring of 1916, Gore has 
been largely overlooked by scholars dealing with twentieth-century 
politics. -■■ The hope of this article is to rescue him from the obscurity 
inevitably surrounding those in the second rank of any important 
movement by showing the role he played in the election of Woodrow 

Elected to the Senate in 1907 when Oklahoma was admitted 
to the Union, the blind Senator had become nationally known 
for having risen above his handicap, albeit his influence on legis- 
lation during his first few years in the Senate had been limited. 
When the liberal wing of the Democratic party attached itself to 
the rising star of New Jersey's Governor Wilson, Gore saw a 
political opportunity. Soon after the Wilson-for-President head- 
quarters was established in New York in 1911, Gore publicly ex- 
pressed his hearty accord with the movement. Carefully canvassing 
the political situation, he had concluded that the Governor was 
the only prospective candidate who could carry both New York 
and New Jersey, which he felt necessary for a Democratic victory; 
therefore, he announced a full year before the Democratic National 
Convention met that he favored Wilson for the nomination. Al- 
though he was later to assert that he had joined the Wilson ranks 
because he thought it was a shrewd political calculation," at the 
time he talked in ideological terms. "In respect to legislative 
policies," Gore said of Wilson, "he is abreast of the times. He 
is in harmony with the spirit of enlightened and rational progress, 

1 The only writer who has given Gore more than passing notice is 
Arthur S. Link, Wilson, the Road to the White House, Princeton, 1947, 

2 Gore in conversation with Link, August 15, 1942, quoted in Link, 
"The South and the Democratic Campaign of 1912," (unpublished Ph.D. 
dissertation, University of North Carolina, 1945), 71. 



and yet he is wise enough to know that 'too swift arrives as tardy 
as too slow.' "2 Gore became the first figure of any prominence 
in public office to announce in favor of Wilson. 

As a close friend of McCombs, the general manager of the Wil- 
son pre-convention campaign, Gore gave sound advice. McCombs 
later expressed his opinion of Gore's work when he wrote, "We 
obtained the most valuable acquisition that I know of in the entire 
campaign in Senator Thomas P. Gore."^ When the Democratic 
National Committee met on January 9, 1912, to select a city in 
which to hold the nominating convention, McCombs, following 
Gore's suggestion, was able to have Baltimore named as the site. 
Gore and McCombs favored Baltimore over New York City be- 
cause they did not want Wilson's candidacy to have the appearance 
of being Tammany-dominated.^ When Byron R. Newton, publicity 
agent for pre-convention activities, clashed with McCombs, he was 
discharged, and McCombs accepted Gore's suggestion, Thomas H. 
Owen of Oklahoma, as the replacement.^ As the pre-convention 
struggle intensified, the sickly McCombs leaned more heavily on 
Gore. "It was to him, more than any other person," McCombs 
recalled, "that I turned in the most difficult moments."'^ 

As Wilson's campaign gained momentum a counter-campaign 
developed. Gore's role became that of spokesman to the press 
to reassure the public of Wilson's uprightness. In January, 1912, 
when the Wilson managers were doing their best to bring their 
candidate and William Jennings Bryan together politically, the New 
York Sun published a letter written by Wilson to Adrian H. Joline 
in 1907 expressing an uncomplimentary attutide toward Bryan. 
Writing that he would like to "do something at once dignified 
and effective to knock Mr. Bryan once for all into a cocked hat," 
Wilson had agreed with Joline's opinion that Bryan's proposal for 
government ownership of the railroads was socialistic. The publica- 
tion of this letter was well-timed, as one of the bitterest anti-Bryan and 
anti- Wilson newspapers in the country endeavored to drive a wedge 
between the Commoner and the Governor. The reason for the 
printing of the letter was apparent to most observers. Gore's com- 

3 Gore to Henry Breckenridge, May 25, 1911, quoted in Vinita Weekly 
Chieftain (Oklahoma), June 2, 1911. 

4 William F. McCombs, Making Woodrow Wilson President, New 
York, 1921, 80. 

5 Maurice F. Lyons, William F. McCombs: The President Maker, Cin- 
cinnati, 1922, 41. 

6 McCombs, Making Wilson President, 106. 

7 Ibid., 80. 


ment was accurate when he said that it had "two designs, both 
sinister. First — to put Wilson and Bryan asunder, to divide pro- 
gressive Democrats and conquer them. Second — to inflame the 
animosity and resentment of Mr. Bryan's faithful friends and fol- 
lowers and cause them to desert Wilson."^ 

A week after the publication of the Joline letter, the Wilson 
candidacy, apparently recovering from the thrust of the Sun, re- 
ceived another blow that for a time threatened to thwart Wilson's 
presidential ambitions entirely. George Harvey, editor of the con- 
servative Harper's Weekly and an early advocate of Wilson's candi- 
dacy, disliking the New Jersey Governor's alliance with the young 
progressives, tried to hinder Wilson's prospects. Implying that the 
Governor was ungrateful for his magazine's support and financial 
connections, Harvey published a misleading announcement stating 
that Wilson had suggested that Harvey's aid was injurious to his 
candidacy.^ When this announcement appeared in the January 20 
issue of Harper's Weekly, Wilson's opponents rejoiced. Exploiting 
the Wilson-Harvey break unmercifully, the conservative papers of 
the country outdid themselves in attacking Wilson as an ingrate for 
refusing to accept Harvey's support. 

Assisting the Wilson managers in their attempt to prevent these 
attacks from becoming effective, Gore jauntily declared the whole 
incident "a bubble, not a billow. "^° He defended Wilson by chal- 
lenging the critics to tell the public frankly whether their candidates 
would accept a financial obligation similar to the one the Governor 
declined. "I would rather see Governor Wilson defeated and his 
heart an open book, "that all who run may read,' " he declared, "than 
to see him triumphant with a skeleton in his political closet which 
had been concealed from the eyes of a confiding people. "^^ He 
also helped ease the situation by persuading Francis G. Newlands 
of Nevada, himself a possible presidential candidate, to declare his 

8 Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), January 16, 1912. 

9 For details of the controversy, see Link, Wilson, 359-78. Before 
the announcement was published, Wilson had written letters to Harvey, 
trying to smooth over the misunderstanding, but to no avail. See Wilson 
to Harvey, December 21, 1911, and January 11, 1912, Woodrow Wilson 
Papers (Division of Manuscripts, Library of Congress). 

10 New York Evening Post, January 19, 1912. This statement was 
for press consumption. Actually the Wilson managers thought the affair 
to be not only a billow, "but a cyclone and hurricane all rolled into one," 
When Harvey's statement was published, Gore, McCombs, and Thomas 
J. Pence spent three days in Washington "trying to steady the boat." 
Gore in conversation with Link, August 15, 1942, quoted in Link, Wilson, 373. 

11 Lyons, McCombs, 52-53. 


support of Wilson. This unhesitating support on the part of Gore 
and other important Democratic leaders was quite effective in 
rehabilitating Wilson's political fortunes. 

Having considerable political power in Oklahoma, Gore under- 
took to foster and organize the pre-convention Wilson campaign in 
his home state. In this endeavor he received the assistance of a 
loyal and able lieutenant, William H. "Alfalfa Bill" Murray.^" J. 
Robert Gilliam and Washington Sorrel, president and secretary 
respectively of the state organization, established Wilson clubs in 
strategic towns, including Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Enid, Guymon, 
Shawnee, Ardmore, and Muskogee.-^^ Progressive newspapers, led 
by the influential Oklahoma City Daily Oklahoman, lent their sup- 
port to the Wilson boosters. But a number of the state's political 
leaders, notably Governor C. N. Haskell, favored the candidacy 
of Champ Clark, Speaker of the House of Representatives. Of 
the Democratic leaders in the state, sentiment was about evenly 
divided between Wilson and Clark. For fear of offending the ad- 
herents of other candidates. Gore based his advocacy of Wilson 
on the alleged fact that he was the only candidate who could marshal 
the independent vote.-^'* 

In January, 1912, Gore arrived in Oklahoma to give finishing 
touches to the campaign organization. Abstaining from making an 
open fight for his candidate, he nevertheless traveled extensively 
throughout the Sooner State in an attempt to rally his friends for 
Wilson. When it was rumored that the Clark managers had 
threatened Gore with political annihilation if he spoke for Wilson 
in Oklahoma, Gore denied that his opponents had issued the ulti- 
matum.-^^ To prove that he had not been intimidated, Gore spoke 
in Oklahoma City on February 9, but he spoke concerning the 
general Democratic situation and his remarks regarding Wilson 
were mild. In this speech he defended his right to freedom of 
speech and presidential choice. -^^ 

The Republicans refused to allow the Democrats the appear- 
ance of unity, and four days later the Muskogee Daily Phoenix 
published the contents of the purported threatening letters from the 
Clark men to Gore. The Senator negated any effect this move 
might have had by his actions at the Oklahoma Democratic con- 

12 McAlester News-Capital (Oklahoma), January 27, 1912. 

13 Daily Oklahoman, January 14 and February 4, 1912. 

14 Ibid., September 3, 1911. 

15 Ibid., February 4, 1912. 

16 Ibid., February 10, 1912. 


vention two weeks later. With the county conventions selecting 
a majority of Wilson delegates for the state convention, thus assur- 
ing the Gore faction of complete control at the meeting, he gen- 
erously suggested that the Oklahoma delegation to the Baltimore 
convention be evenly divided between Wilson and Clark.^^ Clark's 
Oklahoma manager. United States Congressman Scott Ferris, ac- 
cepted the offer. But when the state convention met, the other 
Clark adherents, who had been assured of the support of candidate 
Judson Harmon's Oklahoma followers, determined to fight for 
control of the convention. Faced with this situation. Gore called 
a caucus of the Wilson delegates on the eve of the convention, at 
which time his followers voted to regard the Gore-Ferris agreement 
as binding.^^ With the Wilson men in control of the convention, 
the Clark supporters were defeated by a comfortable margin (3141/2 
to 2851/^). The two factions then agreed to divide the delegation, 
with the provision that if either Clark or Wilson withdrew from the 
national convention contest, all the delegates would vote for the 
other candidate.-^^ 

These developments indicated that the rift in the Democratic 
ranks as publicized by the Republican press had been real. But Gore 
had shrewdly healed the breach by insisting that the national dele- 
gation be divided evenly. With apparent victory in his hands on 
the state level, Gore was aware that his candidate might not win 
at the national convention. Success in carrying all Wilson delegates 
to the convention would then be a Pyrrhic victory for Gore. By 
splitting the votes he felt that he had nothing to lose and every- 
thing to gain. If Clark ultimately won the nomination, Gore's sup- 
port for Wilson would be less distasteful to Oklahoma leaders since 
he had generously allowed half the delegation to vote for Clark. 
Further to indicate Gore's political maturity, it must be pointed out 
that he himself would be running for re-election within two years, 
and he was wise enough to know that support of a doubtful nominee 
in 1912 would not help him in his own coming campaign if he 
alienated important political leaders in his state. 

Gore's campaign activities for Wilson before the Baltimore con- 
vention did not end with his efforts in Oklahoma. Determined to 
carry the Midwest in the primaries, McCombs sent Gore in March 
on a hurricane tour of Wisconsin. But Gore did more than speak; 

17 Muskogee Daily Phoenix (Oklahoma), February 21, 1912. 

18 Daihj Oklahoman, February 22, 1912. 

19 Daily Phoenix, February 23 and 24, 1912. 


he helped develop an active publicity agency, and from Milwaukee 
he directed the organization of a campaign which reached to the 
smallest precinct in Wisconsin.-*^ The national headquarters con- 
tributed heavy financial support and vast quantities of literature to 
that state's organization. These efforts were not in vain; twenty 
of the twenty-four Wisconsin delegates to Baltimore were pledged 
to Wilson. 

Despite these victories, when the Democratic National Conven- 
tion met on June 25, 1912, Wilson's future as a presidential candi- 
date was not bright. Without campaigning Champ Clark had led 
Wilson by substantial majorities in most of the Democratic pri- 
maries and state conventions. With only 248 pledged delegates 
to Clark's 436, Wilson and his followers were disheartened, but 
they were determined to make the best of it. 

The convention was riotous from the first day. The Wilson 
delegates, including Gore who was a delegate-at-large from Okla- 
homa, supported William Jennings Bryan in his revolt against con- 
servative Alton B. Parker of New York as keynote speaker. The 
Clark men voted for Parker, however, and the Judge delivered his 
speech. At the beginning of the second day, the Committee on 
Credentials reported that it had not yet completed its work and 
would not be ready to report on its efforts until 8 P.M. The chair- 
man of the committee suggested that the convention not recess until 
that time, "for I know those present would like a display of 

Of the eight who "displayed" oratory. Gore was one. In a 
rousing speech typical of those made on such occasions, Gore loosed 
his oratorical powers on the receptive Democratic ears. Attacking 
the Republican party as one which "taxes the toys and joys of child- 
hood; taxes the tools in the hands of the toiler; taxes the rags upon 
the back of the beggar; taxes the crust upon the lips of the hungry; 
taxes not only the necessaries and comforts of life, but taxes the 
cerements and the monuments of the dead," he appealed to the con- 
vention crowd. He also cast humorous aspersions in the direction 
of the Republicans. Suggesting that all articles in the United States 
be given two price tags, one including a tariff and the other not, 
he advanced the plan that all who favored a protective tariff pay 
the higher price while those who believed in a low tariff or no 
tariff be allowed to buy the articles at the lower price. "That law 

20 McCombs, Making Wilson President, 96, 


is bound to give universal satisfaction," he announced, "because 
under its operation it sliall be done unto every man according to 
his faith. ""^ 

In the meantime, Bryan had prepared a resolution pledging the 
party to nominate no candidate under obligation to "J. Pierpont 
Morgan, Thomas F. Ryan, August Belmont, or any other member 
of the privilege-hunting and favor-seeking class." The resolution 
further demanded that delegates Ryan and Belmont, whom Bryan 
considered the handmaidens of Wall Street, be expelled from the 
convention."^ Bryan's brother called together several Wilson lead- 
ers, including Gore, Luke Lea, Cone Johnson, Jerry B. Sullivan, 
Harvey Garber, and Henderson Martin, ardent Bryan men all, to 
get their opinion of the proposed resolution. They unanimously 
agreed that it was too harsh, if not unwise. ^^ When none of them 
volunteered to introduce the resolution, the Great Commoner him- 
self took the step, causing an uproar in the convention. Only after 
the provision expelling Ryan and Belmont had been struck out was 
the resolution accepted by the convention.""* 

During the night of June 27 and the morning of June 28, the 
nominations for President were made. Wilson was nominated by 
John W. Wescott at 3:25 A.M. after a Wilson demonstration of 
one hour and fifteen minutes. The nomination was seconded in 
several brief speeches, one of which was delivered by the Oklahoma 
orator. Although praising Wilson highly in this speech. Gore 
stressed the importance of the cause and principles for which the 
candidate stood. "The proud, arrogant and omnipotent Republican 
party is today stranded, broken between the rock of Taft stand- 
pattism on the one hand and the whirlpool of Rooseveltian radical- 
ism on the other," he concluded. "There must be and there will 
be a progressive party in the United States. Shall that party be the 
Democratic party or shall it be the Roosevelt party ?"-^ 

Besides Wilson and Clark, two other candidates of importance 
were nominated. Governor Judson Harmon of Ohio and Represen- 
tative Oscar W. Underwood of Alabama. At seven o'clock in the 
morning on June 28, the first ballot was taken. The four highest 

21 Official Report of the Proceedings of the Democratic National 
Convention ... 1912, Chicago, 1912, 50. 

22 Ibid., 129. 

23 Charles W. Bryan in New York Times, March 6, 1921. 

24 Official Report of the 1912 Convention, 137-38, 

25 Ibid., 183-85. 


candidates were Clark (44oV2), Wilson (324), Harmon (148), and 
Underwood (1171/2).-^ 

When the afternoon session began, the lines were tightly drawn 
for the impending battle. The nervous and sickly McCombs was 
in charge of the Wilson forces. A. Mitchell Palmer bespoke Wil- 
son's interests on the speakers' platform with assistance from Wil- 
liam Hughes of New Jersey and Thomas J. Pence of North Caro- 
lina. A. S. Burleson was in command of the Wilson delegates on 
the convention floor, aided by Gore and McAdoo. With little 
change in the votes during the next eight ballots, the Wilson men 
knew that the knockout blow was being prepared. On the tenth 
ballot New York's Tammany boss, Charles F. Murphy, cast his 
state's ninety votes for Clark instead of Harmon. This gave the 
Speaker 556 votes, well over a majority, and it was hoped, would 
provide the signal for the Clark landslide. The Wilson managers, 
McCombs, Palmer, McAdoo, Burleson, and Gore, scurried over the 
convention hall pleading with the Underwood delegates not to giwe 
their votes to Clark. With North Dakota and Oklahoma refusing 
to alter their votes, the tenth ballot continued without further 
significant change in the voting. ^^ 

On the next ballot the Underwood men knew that they held a 
trump card. Clark's nomination could be prevented by their hold- 
ing to their hundred-odd votes, and they were well aware of it. Play- 
ing for a deadlock between Wilson and Clark, they hoped that 
their candidate would become the logical compromise candidate. 
They were not ready to bargain with the Wilson or Clark forces; 
they wanted nothing less than the Presidency. The Wilson men, 
on the other hand, despite Bryan's belated support on the fourteenth 
ballot, realized that they had to deal with the Underwood delegates 
if they were to win the nomination. McCombs, Gore, and T. W. 
Gregory held long conferences with the Underwood leaders and 
promised that if Wilson should be put out of the race at any stage, 
they would use their influence to deliver the Wilson delegates to 
the Alabamian. The Underwood men in return agreed to remain 
loyal to their candidate. In this way a solid anti-Clark block was 
formed, and the Missourian ultimately lost the nomination (after 

26 Ibid., 196-98. 

27 When the vote for the Oklahoma delegation was called for, "Alfalfa 
Bill" Murray, collarless and wiping his face with a red bandanna hand- 
kerchief, waved his arms and roared with his frog-like voice, "We do insist 
that we shall not join Tammany in making the nomination." Quoted in 
Official Report of 1912 Convention, 220. See also Link, Wilson, 449. 


a total of forty-six ballots) by this skillful maneuvering on the part 
of the Wilson forces."^ On the afternoon of July 2 the convention 
made Wilson the official nominee. 

Gore was recognized by his associates as having a significant 
part in this victory. McAdoo recalled in his autobiography that the 
Senator was "skillful and active" as one of the floor leaders and 
praised him for his "great work."-^ McCombs' secretary, Maurice 
F. Lyons, called Gore "a power on the floor, "^"^ and the New York 
Times said, "Senator Gore was referred to by Gov. Wilson just 
before the deciding ballot was cast at Baltimore as a field general 
so capable that it would be mere impertinence on his own part to 
intervene in the situation instead of trusting all to the Senator."^^ 

Hardly had the convention excitement subsided before the Wil- 
son leaders began to make plans for the election in November. The 
most perplexing business was that of reorganizing the Democratic 
National Committee. Burleson, Palmer, Gore, and Josephus Daniels 
conferred several times, finally agreeing that McCombs should be 
recommended as chairman of the national committee.^" Wilson 
plainly distrusted the sickly man who was becoming increasingly more 
difficult to deal with, insisting that McAdoo be made vice-chairman. 
When the national committee met on July 15 in Chicago, McCombs 
and McAdoo were chosen as previously agreed, with a strong execu- 
tive committee to support them. This committee was comprised of 
original Wilson supporters who had been active in the pre-convention 
campaign: Daniels, Palmer, Burleson, Gore, Joseph E. Davies, J. A. 
O'Gorman, Daniel J. McGillicuddy, Robert Ewing, James A. Reed, 
W. R. King, William Saulsbury, and R. S. Hudspeth. ^^ In select- 
ing this so-called "veranda cabinet," Wilson had almost entirely 
ignored the old guard politicians who had customarily led in the 
management of Democratic presidential campaigns. 

Early in August the Democratic organization's headquarters was 
established in New York City. Gore, having impressed his fellow 

28 Link, Wilson, 450. 

29 Crowded Years, Boston, 1931, 152. 

30 Maurice F. Lyons Papers (Division of Manuscripts, Library of 

31 August 12, 1912. 

32 Josephus Daniels, The Wilson Era, Years of Peace — 1910-1917, 
Chapel Hill, 1944, 68. 

33 Ray Stannard Baker, Woodrow Wilson, Life and Letters, New 
York, 1927-39, III, 371. Burleson apparently considered McCombs, McAdoo, 
Gore, Daniels, Davies, King, and Saulsbury the most important members 
of the campaign committee. See memorandum in the A. S. Burleson 
Papers (Division of Manuscripts, Library of Congress). 


workers with his organizing genius during the pre-convention cam- 
paign, was named chairman of the National Bureau Organization.^"* 
When the Senator took charge he found the party machinery in a 
state of "utter dilapidation," and it was October before the organi- 
zation was under full sail/° Directing the campaign with extra- 
ordinary ability, he perfected the organization to such an extent 
that it was possible to reach the personnel of the smallest precincts. ^^ 
Distributing a pamphlet giving detailed instructions to local workers 
on how to form Wilson and Marshall clubs, Gore urged the estab- 
lishment of these clubs throughout the country, supplying them 
liberally with campaign literature and buttons.^' The organization 
bureau distributed 760,000 packages of campaign material to an 
estimated 360,000 different individuals. Some 3,300,000 pieces of 
printed matter were sent directly from Gore's office, and about 
2,500,000 were sent from the general supply room by order of 
his bureau. ^^ 

In a tactical effort to unite all factions in the Midwest and to 
counteract Theodore Roosevelt's popularity in that progressive re- 
gion, Joseph E. Davies, secretary of the national committee, was 
chosen to head the Democrats' western office at Chicago. In Sep- 
tember Gore and Burleson moved the offices of the organization 
bureau and the speakers' division to Chicago to promote unity of 
effort. ^^ From that vantage point Gore directed his hierarchy-type 
organization so as to keep even the most humble precinct workers 
on the job. 

The importance of organizational work done by Gore and his 
subordinates is apparent when the popular vote in the campaign is 
analyzed. Although Wilson won by a landslide in the electoral 

34 The directors of the other divisions were Henry Morgenthau 
(finance), Josephus Daniels (publicity), A. S. Burleson and Homer S. 
Cummings (speakers' division), Abram T. Elkus (foreign division), R. S. 
Hudspeth (labor), and John F. De Saulles and Joseph Truesdale (young 
men's division). Lyons, McCombs, 113. 

35 Gore to John J. Raskob, December 15, 1928, Thomas P. Gore Pa- 
pers (Division of Manuscripts, University of Oklahoma Library). 

36 Lyons, McCombs, 115. 

37 Gore to "My dear Democratic Friend" (mimeographed), October 
3, 1912, Josephus Daniels Papers (Division of Manuscripts, Library of 

38 W. D. Jamieson to T. P. Gregory, November 7, 1912, copy in Ed- 
ward M. House Papers (Yale University Library), quoted in Link, 
Wilson, 482. 

39 M. L. Davies to McCombs, July 26, 1912 (telegram), and Irving 
Shuman to McCombs, July 26, 1912, Daniels Papers; Louisville Times, 
September 13, 1912. 


college, his popular vote amounted to less than 42 per cent of the 
ballots cast. In an election in which over fifteen million votes were 
cast, a change of mind on the part of a few hundred thousand voters 
in critical states would have elected the Bull Moose candidate.'^'' 
In view of this possibility, party organization looms as a significant 
factor in the election, if for no other reason than the keeping in 
line of regular Democratic voters. 

After Wilson's victory in the general election and with a majority 
of seventy-three in the House and six in the Senate, the Democratic 
leaders made their plans from November to March with pleasant 
yet sober anticipation. Most of their conferences centered around 
cabinet choices and the program for the next session of Congress. 
Gore conferred with Colonel Edward M. House in November, at 
which time the Senator expressed his favorable opinion of Bryan 
as a possible cabinet member. ^^ The following January the Senator 
was in conference with the President-elect on tv/o separate occasions, 
the first being on January 8 when he and Hoke Smith conferred 
with Wilson for three hours discussing cabinet posts and the coming 
session of Congress.'*^ 

Rumors were heard that Gore would be given a cabinet posi- 
tion, and it was generally believed in Oklahoma that the Senator 
could have one if he so desired.'*^ There is no indication, however, 
that he cared to leave his Senate post. Soon to be elevated to the 
chairmanship of the important Agriculture and Forestry Committee 
as a result of the Democratic victories, the Senator was on the verge 
of his most productive years in the Senate. He believed that it 
would be unwise to leave the Senate at the time his influence was 
obviously gaining momentum. 

As a progressive Democrat from Oklahoma in a period when 
progressivism was at flood tide in the United States, Gore had been 
one of the first public officials of any importance to announce his 
approval of the candidacy of Woodrow Wilson for President. Al- 
though Gore himself later indicated that his backing was owing to 
political opportunism, the fact remains that at the time Gore and 
Wilson were closely akin in their thinking in a political and social 

40 See World Almanac, 1914, 725. 

41 House to Wilson, November 28, 1912, quoted in Charles Seyinour 
(ed.), The Intimate Papers of Colonel House, Boston, 1928, I, 94-95. 

4 2 Neiv York Times, January 9, 1913. 

43 Hollis Post-Herald (Oklahoma), November 7, 1912; Mangum 
Weekly Star, (Oklahoma), November 28, 1812. The Phoenix Arizona 
Gazette, December 9, 1912, suggested Gore as Secretary of Interior. ,, 


milieu permeated by a reform impetus. However, Gore's primary 
contributions to Wilson's campaign were organizational and tac- 
tical rather than ideological. In the pre-convention period Gore 
was an able assistant to the Wilson men who planned grand 
strategy. Many of his suggestions were accepted, and his oratory 
was used to advantage. At the convention itself the Oklahoma 
Senator aided other Wilson leaders in the all-important struggle 
for supporters. If firsthand observers are to be trusted, his ma- 
neuverings with the delegates as a floor leader were invaluable. In 
the fall election campaign Gore's role as organizational leader for 
the national headquarters appears as his largest contribution. His 
careful attention to detail undoubtedly kept many progressive Demo- 
crats in the party fold when the November elections were held. 

It may be true that Gore's role in the election of Wilson was 
not as large as that played by several more prominent politicians, 
but his contributions were significant. Although he later clashed 
with his Chief Executive over the war, he nonetheless deserves his 
place among those who raised Woodrow Wilson to the highest 
elective office in the land. 

Monroe Billington 
University of South Dakota, Vermillion 

Book Review 

Medicine in Chicago 1850—1950. By Thomas Neville Bonner. The Ameri- 
can History Research Center, Madison, Wisconsin, 1957. Pp. xvii, 302. 

Thomas N. Bonner, with the help of the American History Research 
Center and the Chicago Medical Society, has contributed a significant 
special study in localized history. Professor Bonner traces the technical, 
professional, and social developments of medicine in Chicago from its 
beginnings to the present. The book reflects thorough research and it is 
well written. An extensive index enhances the value of the book as a 
reference work. 

Studies of this type are of considerable value. The local historian will 
find this work raising points for comparison with other communities. The 
medical historian will find here how local circumstances alter the course 
of professional development in the local community and in the nation. The 
general historian will find in this account examples of the many relationships 
between medicine and the facets of social life more familiar to him. 

All historians can turn to this volume with profit. Perhaps none will 
find it entirely satisfactory. Undoubtedly, a local historian would have ap- 
preciated a more thorough treatment of the local, as opposed to the purely 
individual, factors giving Chicago medicine its peculiar character, which is 
so well delineated here. Similarly, a medical historian might be disap- 
pointed that Chicagoans' contributions are merely described rather than 
critically evaluated and explained. Or again, a general historian might wish 
that the contributions of the book had been made more explicitly useful 
to him. Such complaints would be asking too much of a pioneering venture 
combining all these interests. Mr. Bonner's book stands out for its con- 
tribution to each of these fields and to an understanding of their interrela- 
tions. There have been other localized studies of special topics. Many 
have been of limited value due to their narrow focus and often dull presenta- 
tion. Professor Bonner has revived the genre by the skill of his writing 
and the breadth of his learning. 

The other parties to this enterprise deserve due credit. The Chicago 
Medical Society subsidized some of the research, but it allowed the his- 
torian to reach his own conclusions, as he must, on "his own responsi- 
bility." Although his findings about some of the relations of the profes- 
sion and the public will probably raise the blood pressure of some physicians, 
Mr. Bonner has fairly presented materials for an understanding of the 
doctor's point of view. The Society's history committee has noted its 
reservations in a preliminary "Statement." "A layman may not always 
appreciate the power that some esoteric factors such as the Code of Medical 
Ethics have on the lives of members of the medical profession." In spite 
of its disagreement with some of the conclusions, the Committee claims, 
with justifiable pride, that the book is "a new adventure in the writing of 
medical history." That the volume is available at this time is due to the 
American History Research Center. The Center is to be commended for 
publishing such a distinguished study and for presenting it in an exceedingly 
attractive book. 

Robert W. McCluggage 
Loyola University, Chicago 



An Historical Review 



Published by Loyola University 
Chicago 26, Illinois 


An Historical Review 


An Historical Review 





PROGRESSIVISM Charles N. Glaab 195 


CAMPAIGN OF 1912 H. Wayne Morgan 210 


MILITARY CLASS, 1870-1890 . . Charles W. Simmons 111 









Published quarterly by Loyola University (The Institute of Jesuit History) 
at 50 cents a copy. Annual subscription, $2.00; in foreign countries, $2.50. 
Publication and editorial offices at Loyola University, 6525 Sheridan Road, 
Chicago 26, Illinois. All communications should be addressed to the Manag- 
ing Editor. Entered as second class matter, August 7, 1929, at the post 
office at Chicago, Illinois, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Additional entry 
as second class matter at the post office at Effingham, Illinois. Printed in 
the United States. 


An Historical Review 



The Failure of North Dakota 

The rise to power in North Dakota of the Nonpartisan League 
in 1915 has overshadowed the history of the state's Progressive 
Movement. The League era, with its novel experiments in agrarian 
sociaUsm and its intensity of political passion seldom equalled in 
American politics since the slavery controversy, has captured the 
attention of both scholars and more popular writers. If North 
Dakota Progressivism has been considered at all, it has been in- 
terpreted as only a prelude to the later movement: one phase of a 
series of protests on the part of North Dakota farmers beginning 
in territorial days and eventually culminating in the League's efforts 
at state owned and operated banking, milling, and insurance en- 

This assumption of continuity, implicit in the view that all 
Midwestern reform movements were essentially agrarian, has domin- 
ated the general historical writing on the politics of the region." 
North Dakota provides a significant test of this thesis, for there 
a successful movement in complete harmony with contemporary 

1 Of the great amount of material on the League the following are 
a few of the standard works: Andrew A. Bruce, Non-Partisan League, 
New York, 1921; Herbert E. Gaston, The Nonpartisan League, New York, 
1920; Paul R. Fossum, The Agrarian Movement in North Dakota, Balti- 
more, 1925. A recent scholarly work on the subject is Robert L. Morlan, 
Political Prairie Fire, The Nonpartisan League, 1915-1922, Minneapolis, 
1955. Although Morlan is not concerned with Progressive Movement in the 
state, he recognizes, in passing, its non-agrarian nature and the fundamental 
differences in character between it and the League Movement. 

2 See, for example, Russell B. Nye, Midwestern Progressive Politics, 
East Lansing, Michigan, 1951, which synthesizes a large amount of scholar- 
ship on the subject. 



Progressive ideas was followed almost immediately by a movement 
emphatically dedicated to a program of agrarian reform. The 
example strongly suggests, that even in predominately rural states, 
Progressivism did not evolve in response to the farmer's demands 
nor did it concern itself with programs of economic reform for his 
betterment. Although North Dakota was over seventy percent rural, 
a state entirely dependent on agriculture, Progressivism there was 
still fundamentally an urban movement drawing its support from 
towns and advancing a non-agrarian program. 

Not that North Dakota did not suffer from a number of serious 
agricultural problems. Often acting in collusion, banking, milling, 
and railroad interests of St. Paul and Minneapolis dominated the 
state's economy. Inequitable railroad rates meant that it often cost 
a farmer more than twice as much as in neighboring states to ship 
a bushel of wheat. Usurious interest rates, charged in violation of 
state law, frequently ran as high as forty-eight percent. A whole 
series of marketing abuses — fraudulent grading of grain, excessive 
dockage for waste, and even dishonest weighing — absorbed a large 
share of the profit of every bushel of grain sold.^ 

However, the state's Progressive Movement, of the years 1906 
through 1912, coincided with a period of general agricultural pros- 
perity when these problems did not seem crucial. The wheat crop 
of 1905 was the largest in the history of the state and had brought 
a reasonably high price. ^ Yet the very next year occurred the "Revo- 
lution of 1906,"^ a dramatic overthrow of the Republican machine 
which had dominated North Dakota almost since the territory was 
founded. Considered only as a response to agrarian demands, this 
revolt would be impossible to explain. To be understandable, North 
Dakota Progressivism must be interpreted as a movement devoted 
to extending political democracy and to enacting a program of po- 
litical and social reform in accord with patterns set in other parts 
of the nation. 

Before 1906 the political master of North Dakota was the nearly 

3 For a convenient summary of the economic abuses which gave rise 
to the Nonpartisan League, see Morlan, Political Prairie Fire, 5-18. Docu- 
mentary material can be found in Second Annual Report of the Conimis- 
sioners of Railroads to the Governor of North Dakota, 1891, Bismarck, 
1892; Report of the State Grain Commissioners Appointed by the Governor 
to Serve on the Minnesota Board of Appeals, 1910, Bismarck, 1910; "Report 
of the North Dakota Bankers' Association," reprinted in Grand Forks 
Daily Herald, November 23, 1906. 

4 Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1912, 143, 152, 576. 

5 The phrase is used by Bruce, Non-Partisan League, 28. 


legendary Alexander McKenzie.^ Born in New York in 1850, he 
had come to Dakota Territory with a Northern Pacific construction 
gang and settled in Bismarck in 1873. Nearly illiterate, but a man 
of charm, courage, and ability, he made money in stock and real 
estate speculations, and, as sheriff of Burleigh county, began to 
build a successful Republican machine. Over the years, the McKenzie 
organization became the protector of eastern elevators, banks, and 
railroads with interests in the state. After 1900, however, as a 
general demand for reform made itself felt throughout the country, 
opposition developed to the machine's continued domination. Sig- 
nificantly, the impetus for overthrowing McKenzie came from men 
who had at one time been very close to him. Two of the major 
leaders of this revolt were Burleigh Spalding, a banker and lawyer 
from Fargo, and Martin N. Johnson, a farmer from Petersburg. 
Spalding had been high in the councils of the party during the 1890's 
as a member of the state central committee. Twice elected to Cong- 
ress, he was not re-endorsed by the machine in 1904 and imme- 
diately joined the crystallizing opposition. Johnson had been a 
member of the House of Representatives from 1891 to 1899, but 
his Senatorial ambitions were thwarted by the opposition of the 
McKenzie forces in the 1899 session of the legislature. From that time 
on, he too was a bitter enemy of the machine.^ During the struggles 
of the Progressive period, the McKenzie leaders were fond of argu- 
ing, with at least some measure of truth, that many of the reform 
leaders were mere dissatisfied office-seekers, whose adoption of 
reform principles resulted only from a desire to be m office. The 
Regular-Republican Fargo Forum asserted, for example, "that the 
sincerity of the motives of the 'insurgents' may well be questioned 

6 There is no adequate biography of McKenzie, nor is one likely to 
be written, since he deliberately kept his life and activities as secret as 
possible. Consequently, the degree of his personal control of the "McKenzie 
Eing" is open to some argument, but during the political battles of the 
era, he became the symbol for all the forces of conservatism in the state. 
The following materials are helpful : William B. Hennessy, History of North 
Dakota, Bismarck, 1910, 628-630; Kenneth J. Carey, "Alexander McKenzie, 
Boss of North Dakota, 1883-1906," Master of Arts Thesis, University of 
North Dakota, Grand Forks, 1949; Waldemar E. Lillo, "The Alaskan Gold 
Mining Company and the Cape Nome Conspiracy," Doctor of Philosophy 
Thesis, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, 1935; Grand Forks 
Daily Herald, May 25, 27, June 9, 1906. The events leading to McKenzie's 
downfall in North Dakota are described in Charles N. Glaab, "The Eevolu- 
tion of 1906— N. D. vs. McKenzie," North Dakota Quarterly XXIV :4 (Fall, 
1956), 101-109. 

7 Hennessy, History of North Dakota, 161b-161a, 61b-61a; Bruce, Non- 
partisan League, 29-30. 


when its ranks include so many, so very many, who are disappointed 
aspirants for political favors."^ 

The most important leader of the Progressive revolt was George 
Winship, editor of the influential Grand Forks Herald. Before 
coming to Grand Forks from Minnesota in 1874, Winship, who was 
born in Maine in 1847, had been a stone quarry worker, a soldier 
in the Civil War, and a printer. A state senator after 1889, he too 
had been closely associated with the machine but had broken with 
McKenzie and in 1898 and in 1900 was an unsuccessful reform 
candidate for governor.^ Winship was therefore subject to the 
same type of charge levelled against Spalding and Johnson. The 
Bismarck Tribune, edited by a member of the McKenzie inner circle, 
sarcastically observed during the campaign of 1906: 

Having long sought political preferment unsuccessfully at the hands of the 
"machine' Editor Winship has come through the fire purged and cleansed 
and, conscious of the happiness that comes through a simple desire for the 
elevation of the whole human race, is anxious to spread the good tidings 
and let others be glorified as he has 

But in the light of the consistency of his views and actions, Win- 
ship seems the most sincere of all the Republican reformers in the 
state. An admirer of the La Follette experiment in Wisconsin, in 
vigorous, widely circulated editorials he called for enactment of the 
La Follette program in North Dakota, an end to boss control, and 
the establishment of truly representative government. 

The device upon which these Republican reformers placed their 
hope for eliminating McKenzie and his henchmen was the direct 
primary. Each session after 1896 they presented their demand for 
the measure to the legislature. In 1904 a direct primary plank was 
written into the Republican platform. But after a bitter fight in 
the legislature the next year, the machine leaders were able to modify 
the measure so that it applied only to county officials and to mem- 
bers of the state nominating conventions, not directly to state 
officials. -^^ Nevertheless, the Progressives-^" were determined to 

8 Fargo Forum and Daily Republican, January 10, 1906. 

9 Hennessy, History of North Dakota, 626-627; Bruce, Non-Partisan 
League, 29. 

10 Bismarck Tribune, May 7, 1906. 

11 Laws Passed by the Ninth Session of the Legislative Assembly, 
1905, Bismarck, 1905, 207-216. 

12 For clarity and consistency, I have used the term "Progressive" in 
a somewhat anachronistic and arbitrary fashion. Reformers within the 
Republican Party did not begin calling themselves "progressives" until 
after 1910. In the period under consideration, they were usually referred 


make a major effort to control the next nominating convention. Late 
in the year, with Winship at its head, they organized the Repubhcan 
Good Government League to give direction to the movement. 

Early in 1906 they were presented with a superlative campaign 
document: a series of magazine articles by Rex Beach entitled "The 
Looting of Alaska."^^ In typically muckraking fashion, Beach 
exposed an involved bit of chicanery on the part of McKenzie at the 
turn of the century to obtain control of alien gold-claims in Alaska. 
Although McKenzie had spent time in jail as a result of the venture, 
little was known about it until the publication of the Beach articles. 
With "The Looting of Alaska" as their major argument against 
continued boss control, the Progressives waged a vigorous fight to 
control the nominating convention. But the machine, using its old 
techniques of favors and coercion, won easily. The Progressive 
leaders, convinced that they had been beaten unfairly through the 
machine's control of free railroad passes and particularly incensed 
by the nomination of an undistinguished spoilsman for judge of the 
supreme court, threw their support in the fall election to the Demo- 
cratic candidates for this office and for governor. The election of 
John Burke as governor overturned the natural Republican persuasion 
of North Dakota and put a man pledged to carrying out the reform 
program of the Republican Progressives at the head of the state 

Again in 1910 and in 1912, Burke, who was careful always to 
tailor his program to the demands of the Progressives and to appoint 
them to key positions, was re-elected with the support of Republican 
voters. This, then, constituted the "Revolution of 1906," and dur- 
ing Burke's six years in office. North Dakotans lived under a state 
government dedicated to carrying out the principles of Progressivism 
as it was being practiced in many parts of the nation. It was a 
period of exciting political battles, vigorous law enforcement, and 

to as "independents" or simply "reformers." I have capitalized the word 
in an attempt to avoid its possible favorable connotations. The term 
"Progressive" as used here then does not necessarily mean a Republican 
reformer who joined the ranks of the Theodore Roosevelt Progressive 
or Bull Moose Party in 1912, since many "progressives" either remained 
loyal to Taft or supported Wilson in the election. Members of the con- 
servative faction of the Republican Party, I have called "Regulars" or 
"Stalwarts," the terms employed during the period. They represent the 
group closely associated with the McKenzie organization. A similar prob- 
lem has not occurred with the state Democratic Party, since for all practical 
purposes, Democrats were united behind the reform program in the state. 

13 Rex Beach, "The Looting of Alaska," Appleton's Booklovers Maga- 
zine, VII (January-May, 1906), 3-12, 131-140, 294-301, 540-547, 


enlightened administration. But the total impact of Progressivism 
on North Dakota proved to be slight. 

The reason lies partly in the goals the reformers set for the 
movement. Aside from attacking railroad influence on government, 
never did they emphasize agricultural reforms. They directed their 
attack fundamentally against machine control of government and 
political dishonesty: "McKenzieism," "bossism," or "gang rule," 
as they called it. "Purity in politics" was the common motto of 
the local Good Government Leagues, which constituted the or- 
ganizational basis for the Progressives' efforts. Winship, who more 
than any other leader supplied the ideology of the movement, defined 
its aims very simply in 1906: 

There is just one issue before the people of North Dakota this year; and 
that is whether the people are ready to take charge of their own government 
or will permit three or four bosses to manage in their own interest and ac- 
cording to their own caprice. . . . The people know that the political govern- 
ment of this state has been an atrocious scandal, and they are earnest in the 
desire for better things. ^^ 

Consequently, the major emphasis of the Progressive program 
was on the adoption of political devices which the reformers as- 
sumed would prevent men like McKenzie from regaining power in 
the state. The legislation passed during Burke's years in office 
extending direct democracy is comprehensive and impressive: the 
direct primary; the initiative, referendum, and recall, including the 
constitutional initiative; the Senatorial preference primary; and the 
Presidential preference primary. But as has been so frequently 
proved since the Progressive era, when they were accepted almost 
as panaceas by reformers, these devices are not guarantees in them- 
selves of responsible government. 

Although Burke was dependent on Republican support, he un- 
questionably shaped the character of North Dakota Progressivism. 
His career consequently throws considerable light on the movement 
he represented and suggests reasons for its essential failure. Born 
and reared on a farm near Keokuk, Iowa, and graduated from the 
law school of the State University of Iowa, he arrived penniless in 
Dakota Territory in 1888 at the age of twenty-nine after unsuccessful 
attempts to practice in Des Moines and in Minnesota. Working in 
the harvest fields during the summer, he accumulated twenty-two 
dollars and made his way to the village of St. John in the north- 

14 Grand Forks Daily Herald, April 8, 1906. 


eastern part of the territory, where he had heard he might find work. 
There he taught school, started a newspaper, and practiced law 
over the desk of the hotel where he lived. Later moving to neigh- 
boring RoUa and eventually to Devils Lake, he built a successful 
law practice and like most small town lawyers turned to politics. -^^ 

Burke served six years in the state legislature during the 1890's, 
at a time when the Farmers' Alliance was making its influence felt 
in state politics. In view of his later role as leader of the reform 
forces in North Dakota, it is instructive that he showed no sym- 
pathy with the demands of the agrarian group in the legislature. In 
fact, he was associated with the most conservative faction in the 
senate in opposing marketing and regulatory measures sponsored 
by the Alliance. In 1893 he was one of four senators to vote 
against the session's most important law, the appropriation of 
$100,000 for the construction of a terminal grain elevator at Duluth 
or Superior. ^^ The same year he introduced a bill which would 
have eliminated the power of the State Board of Railroad Com- 
missioners set up by the constitution.-^'^ Examination of his voting 
record reveals nearly complete consistency in opposition to Alliance 
measures. Nominated for attorney general in 1894, he was one 
of three Democratic candidates not supported by the Independent 
(Populist) Party in a period in North Dakota politics when farmer 
parties generally combined with the Democrats in the Fusion ticket. -^^ 

In spite of his conservative political philosophy, Burke was a 
good party man who accepted the issues as they were defined by 
the national Democratic leadership. An 1894 campaign speech is 
devoted entirely to an examination of the tariff, which he asserted 
was the "great issue of the present time."^^ Two years later he 
had enlisted in the Bryan crusade as the unsuccessful Democratic 

15 A collection of Burke Papers, which contains correspondence from 
the latter years of his career, speeches, miscellany, and considerable 
biographical material, is available in the Grin G. Libby Manuscript Col- 
lection, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota. 

16 Journal of the Senate of the Third Legislative Assembly, 1893, 
Bismarck, 1893, 530. 

17 Ihid., 272. 

18 Grand Forks Daily Plaindcaler, July 27, November 2, 1894. The 
politics of North Dakota during this period have not been thoroughly studied 
but from examination of the files of the Plaindealer, one of the few Demo- 
cratic newspapers in the state, it seems clear that the hierarchy of the 
Democratic Party had little more sympathy with farmer demands than 
members of the McKenzie organization. The Plaindealer attacked the 
Alliance-sponsored marketing measures as class legislation. Fusion in the 
state between Democrats and independent farmer parties seems to have 
been much more a marriage of convenience than an union of principle. 

19 Ibid., October 13, 1894. 


candidate for the United States House of Representatives. Because 
of the great influence of Bryan in the West, it was almost inevitable 
that any successful Democrat in North Dakota vv^ould have to talk 
in reform terms. As Republican domination of the state became 
complete after 1896, Burke had continued unrewarding service in 
the minority party. His nomination for governor in 1906, a year 
in which the discerning could see that Democrats again might have 
a chance, was expected. 

A superb politician, Burke had built a reputation as a man whose 
character transcended party considerations. "He is a born states- 
man," a Republican newspaper had commented as early as 1896, 
"and the only fault we find with 'Honest John' is his political 
views, but they are a mere triviality beside his qualifications as a 
man.""*^ This kind of non-partisan appeal was to continue through- 
out his long political career. Evidence of his political skill is the 
fact that in rural, Protestant North Dakota, the issue of Burke's 
Catholicism was never raised against him except in the veiled and 
not very serious charge that he had appointed only Irishmen to 
office. In tact, much of Burke's voting strength came from organized 
Protestant church groups, who supported his stand for vigorous en- 
forcement of the prohibition laws. 

Dressed in a thread-bare suit and a battered "sheepskin" coat, 
rough-hewn of feature with his hair left untrimmed, he could play 
to perfection the role of "Honest John" the simple man of the 
people. His unembellished, forcefully plain speeches convinced 
voters that here was a sincere man of honesty and integrity; com- 
parisons with Lincoln were so frequent that Burke, himself, found 
them rather tedious. 

Actually, as the most successful trial-lawyer in the state earning 
about $15,000 a year, Burke's appeal was not really to the farmer 
but to the small town business man, lawyer, editor and teacher. His 
program of honesty in government and rigorous law enforcement 
appealed to these urban groups who were rebelling against the 
unrepresentative, expensive, and generally unsavory character of the 
machine-dominated state government. 

Burke's conception of reform was legalistic, and the seeming 
transition from the conservative of the early 1890's to the Progres- 
sive of 1906 is not paradoxical. Burke had a sincere belief in the 
efficacy of law as a means of regulating human affairs. To him 

20 Cando Herald, quoted in Grand Forks Daily Plaindealer, August 
25, 1896. 


the problem of reform was a matter of instilling respect for the law 
and providing for its enforcement. In characteristic fashion, he told 
a Mandan audience in 1907: 

No matter whether we think it is unjust, no matter whether we believe in 
the principles of the law, it is our duty so long as it is the law to respect 
it and to use our influence to enforce it, because it is the law; because 
only by enforcing the law is your life, your liberty and your property safe.^^ 

"Burke's theory of government is simple and commonplace," Win- 
ship wrote perceptively in 1910. 

It involves no fine-spun causistries, no quibbles, no evasions. It includes, 
chiefly, the elements of simple, common honesty, a recognition that the obli- 
gations of an official are to the people of the entire state, and industry and 
energy in the performance of duty. 2 2 

Typical was his stand on prohibition: although Burke was always 
an opponent of the law, much of the energy of his administrations 
was expended in a fruitless attempt to enforce it. 

A great cry against railroads was part of the reform upsurge. 
Burke had gone along with it. "John Burke's political tune is 
pitched for the railroads," Bisf?iarck Tribune asserted with some 
justice in 1906. 

That's the burden of his song. About all the ills the people are heir to, in 
Mr. Burke's opinion are railroads, and their influence through the bosses 
over the people. 23 

Yet here too his approach to the problem was legalistic. If rail- 
roads were not paying their just share of taxes, government had 
acted in the interests of a special group, and the abuse should be 
corrected. Free railroad passes could prevent an official from act- 
ing for the public good as he was pledged to do. But this did not 
necessarily lead to the view that the expansion of legislation regu- 
lating railroads was desirable. Burke's intense respect for property 
rights made any such effort somewhat suspect, and his position on 
the high freight rates prevailing in the state was not unequivocal. 
In his first inaugural message to the 1907 session of the legislature, 
for example, he pointed out that railroad rates were too high and 
should be reduced. But the method he left to the legislature. He 
suggested that perhaps the Board of Railroad Commissioners might 

21 Bismarck Tribune, June 6, 1907. 

22 Grand Forks Daily Herald, October 21, 1910. 

23 Bismarck Tribune, November 3, 1906. 


be able to do it, if some means could be found to enable it to 
enforce its decisions. On the other hand, should the legislature 
decide to lower rates directly, he warned that great care must be 
taken to ensure a fair return to the railroad."* In general, whenever 
possible, Burke attempted to avoid any issue involving corporate 
regulation, preferring to direct his attention to the problems of 
honesty in government and better law enforcement. 

The sources of Burke's voting strength also reveal the character 
of the movement. In all three of his elections, large majorities in 
the eastern, more populous counties carried him into office. It was 
overwhelming support in the larger towns, where local Good Gov- 
ernment Leagues had been organized, that brought his victories. 
Voting patterns in the almost entirely rural western wheat-raising 
counties were left unchanged during the Burke era. Only in the 
North Dakota towns did the battle for honest government seem 
really important. ^^ 

The program enacted during the period — especially in 1911 
when the alliance of Democrats and Progressive Republicans was 
able to organize both houses of the legislature — constitutes an im- 
portant list of achievements. North Dakota's experiment in Progres- 
sivism came rather late; numerous models for reform legislation 
existed in other states ; and the laws passed during the six year period 
read almost like a catalogue containing every political or social 
demand of a Progressive anywhere. In addition to the legislation 
already mentioned, laws were passed providing for the commission 
form of government in cities of over five hundred population, im- 
proving voter registration, and prohibiting various corrupt political 
practices including personal lobbying. Social measures included a 
comprehensive program of pure food and drug legislation passed 
under- the direction of Edwin F. Ladd, a pioneer in the field ; a 
juvenile court system based on the plan of the famous Denver 
juvenile authority, Judge Ben Lindsay; a child labor law; a state 
board of control for charitable, reformatory, and penal institutions; 
acts regulating the practice of medicine and surgery and providing 
inspection and safety standards for hotels; a public health labora- 
tory; a library commission to institute a system of traveling libraries 

24 Journal of the House of the Tenth Session of the Legislative As- 
sembly, 1907, Bismarck, 1907, 61-70. 

25 North Dakota election statistics can be found in the bi-yearly 
Legislative Manual (Blue Book). 


and to assist public libraries; a livestock Sanitary Board to control 
cattle disease; and several other similar measures."^ 

In short, the reformers were able to enact every major piece 
of social or political legislation that they had proposed. These 
measures were passed with little opposition from machine leaders. 
A large part of the program, for example, was enacted in 1907, 
while the Stalwart-Republican faction was still in control of the 
state senate. An anonymous political leader interviewed in the 
Grand Forks Herald during the campaign of 1906 predicted cor- 
rectly the course that the McKenzie organization would take in 
relation to the reform movement. The machine, he stated has "no 
inflexible purpose and can tack. The moment that the leaders are 
convinced that there is something in the movement, they will get 
in front of it. . . ."-"^ The McKenzie organization had consistently 
shown great ability to swim with the tide of public sentiment; dur- 
ing the Burke era, the platforms of the Stalwart faction often con- 
tained more demands for reform than those of the Progressives. If 
by conceding political and social demands, which were aimed only 
at the manifestations of deeper problems, the conservative leaders 
could protect the economic interests that they openly represented, 
they were willing to go along. 

When Progressives tried to strike at the railroads, they achieved 
much less. The effort to enact the anti-pass bill, a keystone of the 
1906 campaign, was unsuccessful until 1911; by then, with the 
adoption of the direct primary, the measure had lost much of its 
importance. The attempt to enact a two cent per mile rate bill 
for passenger fares met with bitter resistance by railroad legislators, 
who were able to raise it to two and a half cents, a figure the rail- 
roads were willing to accept. Burke and the Progressives made a 
major effort to activate the dormant railroad commission, which 
under machine control had not even bothered to fill out the reports 
required by law. They were able to enforce minor regulatory laws 
relating to railroads, but their attempts to lower freight rates on a 
few items were hampered by court fights and other obstructions."^ 

26 See the compilations of session laws: Laws Passed at the Tenth 
Session of the Legislative Assevibly, 1907, Bismarck, 1907; Laws Passed 
at the Eleventh Session of the Legislative Assembly, 1909, Fargo, 1909; 
Laws Passed at the Twelfth Session of the Legislative Assembly, 1911, 
Fargo, 1911. 

27 Grand Forks Daily Herald, May 25, 1906. 

28 Nineteenth and Twentieth Annual Reports of the Commissioners 
of Railroads to the Governor of North Dakota, 1909,1910, Bismarck, 1910. 


During Burke's second term, the rate of railroad taxation was raised 
to a level comparable with neighboring states. ^^ By and large, 
however, the Progressives effected no substantial changes in general 
railroad practices. The fundamental railroad problem — the high 
rate the farmer paid to ship a bushel of grain — was left untouched. 

In spite of the limited success of their railroad program — and 
it is not as limited as it may seem if the aims of the movement are 
considered — North Dakota Progressives at the end of Burke's six 
years in office could look with satisfaction on their achievements. 
They had rid the state administration of McKenzie and his sup- 
porters; they had enacted almost all their program; and they had 
provided North Dakota six years of vigorous and equitable law 
enforcement. Progressivism seemed the established ideal of gov- 
ernment. Although Burke's successor, L. B. Hanna, was a mem- 
ber of the Stalwart faction of the Republican Party, Progressives 
had been elected for the remainder of the state offices. Hanna 
was not a McKenzie lieutenant nor a man to attempt to overthrow 
the Progressive legislative accomplishments. During his first term 
in office, the reform program was continued and even expanded. 

Yet in 1915 the failure of the legislature to pass a constitutional 
amendment providing for a terminal elevator to be operated by the 
state, which had been approved overwhelmingly at the preceeding 
year's election, set off the "political prairie fire," that carried the 
Nonpartisan League to power.^° 

The attitude of the Progressives toward this crucial issue is im- 
portant. The North Dakota constitution provided that an amend- 
ment had to be passed at two subsequent sessions of the legislature 
before being submitted to the voters for approval. Before becoming 
law, it had then to be ratified a third time by the legislature. There- 
fore, the question of building an elevator had developed during the 
Burke administrations. In 1909 and in 1911 the legislature had 
approved a measure permitting the state to build terminal elevators 
in either Wisconsin or Minnesota; in 1911 the first approval had 
been registered for a potential amendment to permit the state to 
construct one within North Dakota. ^^ 

"9 Proceedings of the State Board of Taxation Equalization, 1909, 
Bismarck, 1909, C2-63. 

30 Morlan, Political Prairie Fire, 18-21, ff. recounts the events lead- 
ing up to the League's rise to power. 

31 Laws of the Session, 1909, 333; Laws of the Session, 1911, 161, 165. 


But these issues crept almost incidentally into the Progressive 
program and in no way were considered of major importance at 
the time. The demand for a change in marketing methods developed 
outside the political parties, in organizations such as the North 
Dakota Bankers' Association and the American Society of Equity. 
The latter, a national organization of farmers to advance coopera- 
tive marketing, had organized a chapter in North Dakota in Feb- 
ruary 1907 and had begun to agitate in the legislature for the estab- 
lishment of farmer-owned grain elevators.^" In the fervor of the 
crusade against "boss government," the events leading to the 1915 
revolt passed almost without comment in the state's newspapers. 

Nor did the building of an elevator become an issue in any of 
the campaigns. Burke avoided the question almost altogether. In 
1909 he was required to submit to the legislature the report of the 
grain commission appointed to investigate the feasibility of acquir- 
ing a terminal elevator. He commented only that he thought a 
constitutional amendment would be necessary for the state to do 
so and added that he was submitting the report without recom- 
mendation.^^ In general, the attitude of Progressives toward the 
whole problem of marketing was one of indifference. 

In the light of subsequent events, apparently few farmers in the 
state even realized that a change in the character of government had 
taken place during the Burke administrations. The Progressive in- 
terlude had neither produced nor even really attempted any changes 
in the economic conditions that the farmer faced. A child labor 
law, the commission form of government, and a non-partisan tax 
commission, after all, were not answers to the low price he received 
for a bushel of wheat. Consequently, after 1916 a new set of 
leaders took over the reins of government, and the Progressives 
were on the outside. Significant is the case of Treadwell Twichell, 
the leader of the Progressives in the senate. Although he was clearly 
a reformer in the Progressive sense and had served well in the cause, 
he became infamous in League circles as the reputed author of the 
remark to a group of farmers during the 1915 session of the legis- 

ts Information on the early activities of the latter can be found in 
the Grand Forks Daily Herald, June 27, July 23, 1907, February 5, 7, 
March 26, 1909. 

33 Journal of the House of the Eleventh Session of the Legislative 
Assembly, 1909, Bismarck, 1909, 29-55. 


lature to "go home and slop the hogs."^'* The new leadership in 
the state drew no distinction between Stalwart and Progressive and 
as often as not directed their attacks against the latter. 

In spite of the non-agrarian character of the Progressive program, 
the reformers did indirectly assist the rise of the Nonpartisan League. 
Although the measure was not a part of their program nor an issue 
that absorbed any of their attentions, the movement for a terminal 
elevator did get under way during the Burke administration. The 
Progressives had provided a political climate in which such demands 
could find expression. Moreover, they had gone along with the 
initial steps in its establishment, and it was not they who sabotaged 
the measure in the 1915 legislature. Hanna had continued the 
Burke program during his first term, but in 1914, as the Progres- 
sive fervor slackened, the Stalwart faction had begun to reassert 
its control. Hanna was elected for a second term on program of 
economy; it was quite clear therefore that the elevator proposal 
might fail. Farm leaders began to take the first steps that were 
to bring the League to power. 

Furthermore, the chief demand of the Progressives, the direct 
primary, proved to be the means by which Arthur C. Townley, the 
founder of the League, was able to organize an independent farmers' 
political movement. The supporters of the direct primary in North 
Dakota and elsewhere argued that it would take control away from 
political parties and put it in the hands of the voters themselves. 
This seldom turned out to be the case, but the rise of the League 
does provide a dramatic example of the use of the direct primary to 
meet its original purpose. 

Why did Progressivism fail in North Dakota? As has been 
emphasized, the program of the reformers was primarily concerned 
with election reforms and other political devices that would ensure 
honest government in the state. To a large extent, it was modeled 
on the programs of reformers elsewhere, especially the Wisconsin 
experiment, and superimposed on an agricultural state, often with 
no relation to basic needs. The commission form of government, 
for example was not a response to a specific demand but merely 
a part of the general model the reformers followed in enacting a 
kind of ideal Progressive program. 

34 Interviews cited by Morlan, Political Prairie Fire, 21, seems to indi- 
cate that either Twichell did not make the remark or that he meant it 
only jocularly, including himself as a farmer. 


This program did not affect the average farmer, nor was he 
excited by the party battles of the period. Because of its late set- 
tlement, North Dakota had experienced only slightly the effects 
of the agrarian movements of the Nineteenth Century ; the organiza- 
tions capable of expressing agricultural demands politically had 
not developed and matured. Twenty-seven per cent of the state's 
population was foreign-born; about an equal number were first- 
generation Americans. Often settled in colonies where the ways of 
the homeland were preserved, these immigrant groups, unfamiliar 
with American political techniques, were subject to the same type 
of manipulation employed by the city bosses of the era. The Mc- 
Kenzie organization was particularly astute in choosing local leaders 
who could identify with the national characteristics of the dominant 
immigrant group of the community. It remained for Townley to 
break the organizational hold of the Republican oligarchy through 
high-pressure salesmanship and "grass roots" organization and to 
harness the farmer's unrest behind a program of agrarian reform 
in his own interests. 

Charles N. Glaab 

Research Associate 
University of Chicago 

Eugene Debs and the Socialist 
Campaign of 1912 

Few Americans today remember a time when the Socialist party 
was a power of any proportion in American politics. They have 
forgotten or never knew that a scant two generations ago the 
Socialist Party of America was the third party of American politics; 
that it wielded considerable influence in the American labor move- 
ment; and that many of the "radical" policies which it advocated 
have become standard fixtures in the American political, social and 
economic system. 

The presidential campaign of 1912 marked the high point of 
Socialist strength in America. This fact is all the more interesting 
inasmuch as the contest of that year offered not one but three 
candidates who were considered liberal — the Progressive Theodore 
Roosevelt, the Democrat Woodrow Wilson and the Socialist Eugene 
Debs. That the Socialist candidate polled nearly six per cent of 
the total vote in the face of opposition from such powerful vote get- 
ters as Roosevelt and Wilson is testimony to the extent of the 
Socialist party's influence on the eve of the World War. 

Although the Socialist presidential candidate in 1908, Eugene 
Debs, had polled only 420,000 votes, two years later in the "off 
year" elections of 1910 the Socialists captured a surprising number 
of state, municipal and even federal offices. Victor Berger, ven- 
erable Socialist politician from Milwaukee, was sent to the House 
of Representatives, the first socialist ever to sit in Congress. In 
1911, Socialist strength was again demonstrated by the election of 
George Lunn as socialist mayor of Schenectady, New York. His vic- 
tory was expected to advertise socialism across the country. 

These local victories were as gratifying to the Socialists as their 
few national successes, for they showed the party's growing grass 
roots strength. Emil Seidel was elected mayor of Milwaukee the 
year that Berger went to Congress and by 1912 the Socialists boasted 
that more than a thousand of their number occupied elective offices 
in thirty-three states and one hundred sixty municipalities across 


the country. ■'^ The cities were the strongholds of sociahsm and it 
was in city elections that the Socialists registered their greatest suc- 
cesses with the voters. The eleven states of the Midwest accounted 
for seventy per cent of the Socialists in public office." 

Nothing succeeds in politics like success, and the party's member- 
ship increased in proportion to its victories at the polls. When the 
national convention met in May, 1912, a record breaking 117,984 
people carried Socialist party cards, ^ with Pennsylvania, Ohio and 
Oklahoma reporting the greatest proportional gains in member- 
ship."* The increase in financial resources that accompanied this 
growing membership enabled the Socialists to expand their propa- 
ganda program. The party was even prosperous enough to pay 
train fares for the delegates to the national convention in 1912. 

Noting that a million and a half Americans had voted for Social- 
ist candidates in 1910 and 1911, many political analysts saw every 
reason to believe that the Socialist total would be much higher in 
1912.^ Although the Socialists could well rejoice at these suc- 
cesses, their enemies pointed out that their power was scattered and 
concentrated in minor offices. The Socialists elected to office were 
almost invariably "slowcialists" — as their more radical comrades 
dubbed them — those who were more interested in reform than revo- 
lution. They were ministers, lawyers, academics, and reform minded 
businessmen whose first thoughts were of honest government and 
few of whom were distinguishable, either in promise or perform- 
ance, from their progressive opponents.^ 

1 The party categorized them as follows: 10 city auditors; 4 city 
attorneys; 145 aldermen; 61 assessors; 2 collectors, 18 city commissioners; 
1 Congressman; 25 clerks; 1 court clerk; 7 coroners; 160 councilmen; 3 
comptrollers; 57 constables; 1 director; 45 election officials; 2 city judges; 
55 justices of the peace; 2 listers; 1 magistrate; 18 marshals; 56 mayors; 
4 pound keepers; 22 police officials; 6 presidents of councils; 6 road over- 
seers; 4 recorders; 2 deed registrars; 18 state legislators; 155 school 
officials; 2 surveyors; 2 state senators; 1 sheriff; 40 city, county and 
tovi^nship supervisors; 1 assessment supervisor; 29 treasurers; 2 library 
trustees; 39 city and township trustees; 28 town officials; 1 vice-mayor. 
Socialist Party, Socialist Campaign Book, Chicago, 1912, 36. 

2 Robert Hoxie, "The Rising Tide of Socialism," Journal of Political 
Economy, 19 (October, 1911), 610. Over two-thirds of these officials were 
in cities with populations of less than ten thousand. 

3 Socialist Party, Socialist Congressional Campaign Book, Chicago, 
1914, 17. 

4 Ira Kipnis, The American Socialist Movement 1897-1912, New York, 
1952, 364. 

5 Cf. Samuel Orth, "Is Socialism Upon Us?" World's Work, 24, 
(August, 1912), 455. 

6 Hoxie, "The Rising Tide of Socialism," loc. cit., 610, 611; Robert 
Hoxie, "The Socialist Party in the November Elections," Ibid., 20 (March, 
1912), 213-219. 


There were several reasons for the increasing dominance of 
the conservatives within the party. In part, radical Socialists had 
only themselves to blame. Too often they concentrated their 
energies on local questions and after 1904 they tended to concen- 
trate on converting organized labor to socialism. They flirted con- 
sistently with the IWW and syndicalism, thus furnishing grist for 
the conservative mill in attacks on the "impossibilist" and "revo- 
lutionary" positions. Though he could and did fight hard for his 
beliefs, the most famous radical Socialist, Eugene Debs, never sought 
the leadership which could have been his. He did not partly 
because of a genuine dislike of personal power, partly because he 
feared creating more factionalism, and partly because he preferred 
to agitate through direct contact with the people rather than through 
parliamentary manipulation with which he was unfamiliar. 

But the conservative Socialists could look to their own success 
as well as the radicals' faults to explain their dominance within 
the party. As in most socialistic movements, intellectuals rather 
than workers quickly dominated the Socialist party of America. In 
this they were aided by better education and a more highly organ- 
ized drive than was possessed by the workers. They generally made 
their livings as writers, professionals and newspapermen and in 
addition to being better educated than their radical counterparts, 
they were not adverse to using parliamentary tactics to oust oppo- 
nents. Aside from Debs, few radical Socialists were well enough 
known among the party's rank and file to defeat such famous names 
as Victor Berger and Morris Hillquit. Furthermore, "slowcialism" 
had a genuine appeal to the educated middle class and the conser- 
vative Socialists were more and more successful in controlling the 
party machinery as their support increased. The revolutionaries 
and radicals scattered their strength in a multitude of causes and 
quarrels but the conservatives tended to draw theirs together in a 
concerted effort to dominate the party. Their success with reform 
programs in cities like Milwaukee, Butte and Berkeley and their 
willingness to cooperate with other reform elements gave the con- 
servatives publicity as well as respectability. A sizeable portion 
of the Socialist press was theirs and they used it ruthlessly in waging 
war against the radical elements which they felt were frightening 
reform votes away from the party. 

Both groups believed in political action but the conservatives 
were willing to ally themselves with other liberals in order to 
enact a set of "immediate demands." The radical Socialists 


considered this a breach of faith and while they too entered electoral 
contests they did so as socialists and ran on avowedly socialist 
platforms. They tended to look upon election campaigns as propa- 
ganda efforts and the winning of office was not an end but rather 
a means with them. 

Early in May, 1912, Socialists from all over the country con- 
verged on Indianapolis to hammer out a national platform, to listen 
to "red" rhetoric, to select a presidential candidate and to exhort each 
other to work for the coming revolution. The rising power of the 
conservatives was reflected in the delegates to be seen milling on 
the floor of the convention hall and engaging in earnest discussion 
during and after the sessions. Their predecessors had been labor 
agitators and radical writers; most of these men were professionals of 
one sort or another. Past Socialists had been anxious for swift 
change; these men seemed content with assured reform." 

Eugene Victor Debs, whose prominence in Socialist circles dated 
from before the turn of the century, did not attend the convention 
because it promised from the start to be a hot one. Debs, who 
had been the party's standard bearer in 1900, 1904 and 1908, never 
refrained from attacking his opponents, but he had no stomach 
for intra-party strife. In 1912 he preferred the lecture circuit to 
the pandemonium of the convention hall. The major bone of 
contention among the Socialists was the activities of the IWW 
Socialists. The conservative leadership was determined to censure 
the Wobblies for their syndicalism and the radical Socialists were 
equally determined that the Wobblies receive official party recog- 
nition and support. The radicals won an early victory by securing 
passage of a resolution favoring industrial unionism over craft 
unionism, but were finally defeated by the conservatives who se- 
cured passage of a constitutional amendment which expelled any 
party members who did not subscribe to political action and who 
advocated industrial violence. The action was not accomplished 

7 Every state except Tennessee was represented at the conven- 
tion. Of tlie 293 delegates present, 32 were newspapeiTnen, 21 were lec- 
turers, 20 were lawyers, 12 were mayors and 11 were Socialist Party 
officials. Sixty of the delegates were doctors, dentists, ministers and 
small businessmen. Eleven white collar workers, 10 farmers and 7 house- 
wives were present. The remainder were workers, only 30 of whom were 
employed in unskilled trades. More than a third of the delegates were 
over 45 years of age and only 31 were less than 30. This was in sharp 
contrast to the group that had founded the party in 1901, most of whom 
were less than 35. Nothing could have emphasized better the party's cap- 
ture of a large number of middle class leaders than the members of this 
convention. New York Call, May 5, 1912. 


without a free swinging floor fight in which more than words flew 
through the air. As a result many IWW Socialists left the party 
and wounds were inflicted which never fully healed.® 

Debs himself was on the horns of a real dilemma. For years 
he had preached the virtues of strong and, if necessary, violent union- 
ism. He had been one of the founders of the IWW and he ad- 
mired Bill Haywood and other outspoken Wobblies. The truth of 
the matter was, however, that he had come to condemn the Wobblies' 
use of industrial violence and their lack of a sound political pro- 
gram. By 1912 he was disgusted with their incoherent program and 
could not bring himself to support their tactics, however much he 
admired their courage. 

Debs was bitter at the outcome of the anti-sabotage amendment, 
however, for he felt that the delegates had been streamroUered by 
Berger and HiUquit. But he could not support the Wobblies. Even 
before the convention began he had voiced his opposition to indus- 
trial sabotage: "I am opposed to any tactics which involve stealth, 
secrecy, intrigue, and necessitate acts of individual violence for their 
execution."^ Not because he supported capitalist laws but because 
he felt that such tactics were boomerangs against the Socialists did 
he oppose violence. The Wobblies were not socialists but anarchists 
because they worked outside an organized group; their Utopia was 
not the cooperative society envisaged by Eugene Debs.^° 

With the process of amending the party's constitution out of 
the way, the delegates turned to the selection of a presidential 
ticket. Berger, still hesitant about Debs and his radical followers, 
alluded to Debs' poor health and hinted that he might not run. 
The chairman of the day, Lewis Duncan of Montana, a strong Debs 
supporter, declared emphatically that Debs would run. Although 
Debs did not actively seek the nomination it was well known that 
he was available. ^^ Two other names were placed before the con- 
vention, those of Emil Seidel of Milwaukee and Charles Edward 
Russell, prominent New York muckraker. The outcome was never 

8 "The Compromises of the Socialist Convention," Independent, 67 
(May 30, 1912), 1181-1182. 

9 Eugene V. Debs, "Sound Socialist Tactics," reprinted in The Writ- 
ings and speeches of Eugene V. Debs, New York, 1948, 353. 

10 Ibid., 352. 

11 Ray Ginger, in The Bending Cross: A Biography of Eugene Victor 
Debs, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1949, 309-310, says that Debs pushed 
Fred Warren, acting editor of the popular Appeal to Reason, for the nomin- 
ation. This may be so but Debs made no effort to prevent his name being 
presented to the convention and readily accepted the nomination. 


seriously in doubt. The conservatives were unable to unite behind 
a single candidate and it is doubtful that they could have carried the 
day even if they had, so great was Debs' prestige with the Socialist 
rank and file. Someone started a chant for Debs and he received 
156 votes to 56 for Seidel and 54 for Russell on the first ballot. 
Seidel was chosen for the vice-presidential spot.-^" 

Debs accepted the nomination and the responsibilities of an- 
other gruelling campaign, his fourth, because he felt that the party 
leadership had passed into the hands of men who were evolutionary 
rather than revolutionary. However much he disliked violence, 
Debs had no use for platitudinous reformers. He and the radical 
Socialists based all their beliefs on two assumptions: that there was 
a class struggle in America between capital and labor and that 
capitalism was wholly evil and incapable of being reformed. Debs 
was anxious that laborers rise in the party ranks for he did not be- 
lieve that ministers, lawyers and professors could adequately repre- 
sent the needs and wishes of the workers who made up the bulk 
of the party membership. He did not feel that these men, however 
high their intentions, understood the problems that faced workers. 

The convention adopted a familiar platform that called, among 
other things, for the cooperative organization of prisons; establish- 
ment of a national bureau of health and welfare; the election of 
judges for short terms; the abolition of the United States senate; the 
abolition of the President's veto power; and a long list of measures 
pointed toward the benefit of organized labor. ^^ The convention then 
adjourned and the delegates headed home to lay the groundwork 
for the coming campaign. 

Active campaigning was not scheduled to begin until late in the 
summer but the national campaign committee was busy during the 
spring and summer months. The Socialists spent $66,000 on the 
campaign. Donations from party members in the form of one 
day's pay totalled $23,000. The sale of admission tickets and con- 
tributions taken at raUies yielded another $15,000 and sales of 
literature added an additional $15,000.^'* As had been the case in 

12 Socialist Party, Proceedings of the National Convention 1912, 
Chicago, 1912, 138-141. 

13 "The Socialist Platform and Candidates," Outlook, 101 (June 1, 
1912) 235. 

14 Of the $66,000, the party spent $24,000 on literature; $17,000 on 
speakers; $21,000 on advertising; and $4,000 in grants to state organizations. 
Kipnis, The American Socialist Movement, 365. Compared to the outlays 
of the major parties the sum was infinitesimal but was a considerable ex- 
penditure for the Socialists. 


previous campaigns, local and state organizations were called upon 
to bear the brunt of the work. Thousands of party members and 
sympathizers volunteered their services as speakers, door bell ringers 
and office workers during the campaign. 

If the campaign committee was successful in raising funds the 
same cannot be said for its choices of personnel to manage the cam- 
paign. J. Mahlon Barnes, who had managed Debs' campaign in 
1908, was again chosen campaign manager largely through the 
efforts of conservative Socialists. The cooperation and friendli- 
ness which had characterized the Debs-Barnes relationship of 1908 
was gone by 1912, however. Even before the campaign got under- 
way many Socialists attacked Barnes for his loose morals. An 
investigation did little but air Socialist dirty linen in public, much 
to the delight of the opposition press. The whole affair served 
only to widen the breach between radicals and conservatives within 
the party and only highlighted their differences. Debs tried to have 
Barnes removed because he did not like his conservatism but Barnes 
remained at his post throughout the campaign, a testament to the 
conservatives' strength within the party.-^^ 

Debs originally planned to rest and write during the hot summer 
months in preparation for his national tour during the fall. Pro- 
gressive rumblings within Republican ranks and the increasing likli- 
hood that the Democrats would nominate a liberal candidate, how- 
ever, alarmed him and he began early. Late in June he opened his 
campaign with a speech in St. Louis and began a slow tour across 
the country toward the Pacific coast. As in 1908, he preached his 
own brand of militant socialism, calling upon his audiences to oust 
capitalism by electing Socialists to office. From the beginning of the 
campaign he was afraid that the Democrats and Progressives would 
siphon off Socialist votes and he constantly ridiculed any idea that 
either of these two parties could reform capitalism. "The cause of 
[the present unrest] does not lie in a maladministration of present 
government but in the very structure of society as at present con- 
stituted," he told an audience in Phoenix, Arizona, early in the cam- 
paign. "And the remedy must be found in a reconstruction of all 
existing systems. "-^^ 

Despite broiling heat and clouds of dust a large and enthusiastic 
crowd turned out in the copper mining city of Bisbee, Arizona, to 

15 For a complete discussion of the Barnes affair see David Shannon, 
The Socialist Party of America, New York, 1955, 73-77. 

16 [Phoenix] Arizona Republican, September 8, 1912. 


hear him lambast capitalism. Socialists and IWW organizers were 
not strangers to these copper miners and their families. While 
members of the crowd, many sporting red neckties and bandanas, 
munched on peanuts and popcorn. Debs elaborated on a theme that 
had occupied him before — the problem of leadership. To the end 
of his life Debs feared the power of leaders. Instead he trusted 
in the education of the masses in socialist doctrine to institute the 
Socialist program. "It would do no good for me to lead you to the 
promised land — Roosevelt would only come along and lead you 
out again. "^^ Significantly, this was the traditional American ans- 
wer to the need for reform. His reliance on self help and mass 
education and a desire to avoid violence stamped Debs as a re- 
former in the American tradition. He was first and foremost an 
American and the socialism he preached was tempered by American 
rather than by Marxian thoughts and ideals. 

In Oakland, California, six thousand people heard him talk for 
more than an hour with all of his old fire and vigor. His fist smash- 
ing into his open palm, his lean figure crouched dramatically, he 
roared out his hatred and defiance of capitalism and the society it 
had built. ^^ In Portland, Oregon, he spoke to eight thousand peo- 
ple who had patiently awaited his arrival and who vigorously ap- 
plauded his words despite a heavy thunderstorm. More than a 
hundred dollars in addition to admission charges was collected from 
the crowd. ^^ Further north he spoke to a large crowd in Everett, 
Washington. His train had abruptly changed schedules and the 
crowd waited more than five hours for his arrival, a fact which did 
not seem to dampen its ardor.~° Everywhere in the West the 
story was the same. Debs had traveled this route before and he 
saw many familiar faces in the crowds. There were hundreds of 
hands to shake after every speech and countless times when he took 
down the names of needy comrades for future reference. 

His western tour ended. Debs headed east. The greatest meet- 
ing of the campaign was held in Madison Square Garden. Fifteen 
thousand tickets, costing from fifteen cents to a dollar each, were 
sold weeks in advance and on the big night it was necessary to hold 
overflow meetings in several halls adjacent to the Garden to ac- 
commodate those who could not get in. Every seat in the huge 

17 Bisbee Daily Revieiv, September 9, 1912. 

18 San Francisco Call, September 6, 1912. 

19 Appeal to Reason, September 14, 1912. 

20 Ibid., September 26, 1912. 


auditorium was filled and large crowds of people stood in the aisles 
and in the back of the room. Girls wearing red turbans, white 
aprons and red hair ribbons circulated in the crowd selling buttons, 
red flags and pamphlets. ^^ 

While waiting for the speakers the crowd sang the "Marseillaise" 
and "International," both Socialist favorites. Emil Seidel, the vice- 
presidential candidate, began the meeting with an appeal for labor's 
vote and cited recent Socialist victories as proof that the party was 
increasing in strength daily. "Only a year ago workingmen v/ere 
throwing decayed vegetables and rotten eggs at us but now all 
is changed," he told the crowd. "Eggs are too high. There is a 
great giant growing up in this country that will someday take over 
the affairs of this nation. He is a little giant now but he is grow- 
ing fast. The name of this little giant is socialism."^" 

The crowd cheered Seidel's words but that ovation was nothing 
compared to the bedlam that broke loose when Debs made his 
carefully timed appearance. The crowd stood up, cheered and 
waved red flags for nearly thirty minutes. Looking immensely 
pleased, Debs acknowledged the ovation, quieted the crowd and 
launched into a vigorous exposition of socialism. He insisted that 
only the Socialists represented labor; condemned "Injunction Bill" 
Taft; declared that Roosevelt was still a faker, even worse; that 
the Democrats, Progressives and Republicans alike were financed 
by the trusts. The only hope for America lay in adopting social- 
ism.^^ There was little that was new in the speech but it was poured 
out with all the typical Debsian fireworks and the crowd loved it. 
Aside from his legendary reputation as a friend of labor. Debs' 
greatest contribution to the Socialist party was his free-swinging 
oratory. Despite the fact that his speeches required an admission 
fee, the money thus raised being used to defray campaign costs, 
he always spoke to capacity houses. Good politician that he was, 
he capitalized on every platform technique — voice, posture, vigor, 
and simple, colorful language — to capture the interest of his 

Debs and the other Socialist candidates were greatly aided 
throughout the campaign by an active Socialist press. The regular 
press observed a conspiracy of silence on most events connected with 

21 New York Times, September 22, 1912; "The Presidential Campaign," 
Public, 15 (October 4, 1912), 947. 

22 Netv York Times, September 30, 1912. 

23 Ihid. 


the Socialists. Over the years the Socialists managed to build up a 
strong press which represented most shades of the red spectrum. 
In 1912, the party controlled 5 English and 8 foreign language 
daily newspapers; 262 English and 36 foreign language week- 
lies; and 10 English and 2 foreign language monthlies."^ In 
addition, some 400 union and independent publications carried in- 
formation and bulletins sent them by the Socialist national and state 
headquarters. In 1911, the party was even able to station a press 
representative in Washington, largely to publicize Berger's activi- 
ties. "° The Appeal to Reason, a perennial favorite, continued to 
serve hundreds of thousands of readers and its circulation rarely fell 
below the half million mark.^^ The activity of the Socialist press 
goes far toward explaining the high vote which Debs polled in 1912. 

The campaign was a strenuous one for Debs. In Philadelphia, 
18,000 people crowded into Convention Hall to hear him lam- 
bast the masters of capital. It was a motley crowd, composed of 
hoboes off the streets, professional politicians who had come to 
study the Debs technique, and plain curiosity seekers, in addition 
to those who were genuinely interested in what Debs had to say. 
Girls in red sashes and white aprons moved in the crowd selling 
buttons, ribbons and pamphlets. The cry "Only a nickel!" per- 
suaded more than one spectator to buy a small red flag or a gaudy 
pamphlet describing the coming revolution. ^^ Sales of literature 
added $300 to the money collected by the ushers, making a total of 
$2,700 collected that evening.^^ 

Two thousand people greeted Debs' train in Muskogee, Okla- 
homa, and another five thousand met him in Indianapolis.^^ Despite 
a pouring rain an estimated ten thousand people paid admission 
to hear him speak in Pittsburg. ^° The pattern was the same in 
other eastern and midwestern cities and towns. Late in October 
he invaded New York's lower east side on behalf of Meyer Lon- 
don, who was running for Congress, and was greeted everywhere 
by large and enthusiastic crowds. All his speeches were sold out 
weeks in advance.^^ 

24 Socialist Party, Socialist Campaign Book 1912, 38. 

25 Kipnis, The American Socialist Movement, 247. 

26 George England, The Story of the Appeal, Girard, Kansas, 1912, 

27 Ginger, The Bending Cross, 311. 

28 Appeal to Reason, October 12, 1912. 

29 Ibid. 

30 Ibid., November 9, 1912. 

31 Chicago Tribune, October 22, 1912. London was defeated but won 
a House seat in 1914 and retained it for several years. 


While Debs was criss-crossing the country, other Socialists were 
also at work. After failing to receive the presidential nomination, 
Charles Edward Russell ran for governor of New York. Early in 
November, a crowd of ten thousand gathered in New York City to 
hear him predict the coming triumph of socialism and the election 
of at least ten Socialist Congressmen on November 5.^" 

As he swung around the circle, Debs returned time and again 
to the theme that the Progressives and Democrats had stolen the 
conservative Socialist doctrine but lacked the courage to fashion a 
real socialist program. He commented acidly that for some at 
least the fluttering bandanas which greeted Theodore Roosevelt at 
the Bull Moose nominating convention had replaced the red flags 
of socialism."'^ Debs had nothing but unbounded contempt for 
Roosevelt and his new party. Charging that the Colonel had had 
himself photographed with a starving family from the Pennsylvania 
coal fields for purely political reasons, he denied that the Progres- 
sives were genuine reformers. Noting that the new party was 
financed by such trust magnates as George Perkins, he ridiculed any 
ideas of trust busting put forth by the Bull Moosers. If the Pro- 
gressives were financed by the trusts, how could they oppose the 
trusts.'* The idea that Roosevelt's followers were socialists in dis- 
guise was dismissed out of hand by Debs. "When a spring chicken 
walks into your kitchen, lies on its back and begs to be picked and 
fried, then these plutocrats will be for the Socialist ticket."^"* The 
fact that Debs hammered at this theme so consistently showed that 
he did not trust the reformers converted to socialism by his con- 
servative comrades and was fearful that they would switch their 
votes to a reform candidate. 

Debs was also opposed to those labor unions which worked 
with management. He scorned the "go slow" policies of cooper- 
ation fostered by Samuel Gompers and the A. F. of L. and re- 
peatedly insisted that labor would remain in servitude until it 
organized politically and supported candidates pledged to its cause. 
His opposition to the IWW was based in part on that organization's 
refusal to adopt political action and he continually urged labor to 
vote Socialist. This and unity within the labor movement would 
bring speedy triumph to the workingman. "For the first time in 
the world's history a subject class has it within its own power to 

32 New York Times, November 3, 1912. 

33 Ibid., August 14, 1912. 

34 Bisbee Daily Review, September 9, 1912. 


accomplish its own emancipation without an appeal to brute force. "^^ 
Always in his speeches there was this belief that violence was un- 
necessary, that mercy and justice would emerge from the struggle if 
only the people would pause to hear what he had to say. 

While Debs was busy rousing the faithful and calling for a 
common front against the capitalists, Victor Berger was waging 
a cautious campaign to retain his seat in Congress. However much 
Debs sneered at Berger's hesitant progress toward a new society, 
Berger was admittedly in a difficult position in 1912. He held the 
highest post ever occupied by an American socialist and he felt that 
retaining his seat in Congress was the paramount objective of his 
campaign, not the establishment of a new heaven. Debs still pro- 
claimed himself a radical, as when he insisted that he obeyed 
capitalist laws only because he had to, but to Berger it was a dif- 
ferent matter. He had soundly condemned Debs' plans for con- 
fiscation of the trusts in 1908 and he continued to advocate an 
evolutionary rather than revolutionary brand of socialism. ^^ Berger 
denied that triumphant socialism would mean the abolition of private 
property. Rather, his scheme, as outlined in a prominent magazine 
article, called for little more than the nationalization of certain 
basic industries. In such circumstances business would be operated 
"for use and not for profit." Such a program would evolve natur- 
ally out of the progressive movement. No violence would be neces- 
sary. "Our sole objective in state and nation for the next few years 
is to elect a respectable minority of Socialists. "^^ 

Berger spoke for the now dominant right wing of the party and 
if he spoke for Debs' benefit his words fell on deaf ears. Debs 
would have none of it. To him any Socialist program must be 
based first and last on the assumption that capitalism was evil; 
once it was removed progress could be made; until commonwealth 
replaced corporate wealth the capitalists would continue to own 
and operate the government. The conflicts between right and left 
within the party were outlined in the statements of these two men. 

35 Eugene V. Debs, "The Socialist Party's Appeal," Independent, 73 
(October 24, 1912), 950. 

36 During his presidential campaign of 1908, Debs told Lincoln Stef- 
fens that he himself would simply nationalize the trusts without compen- 
sation to the owners. Berger countered with a plan for compensation, 
which he ultimately introduced into Congress, that Debs ridiculed as a 
form of capitalism. Lincoln Steffens, "Eugene V. Debs On What the 
Matter is in America and What to do About It," Everybody's Magazine, 
19 (October, 1908), 455-469. 

37 Victor Berger, "Socialism, the Logical Outcome of Progressivism," 
American Magazine, 75 (November, 1912), 19-21. 


Debs spoke as many as five or six times a day for sixty-eight 
consecutive days, often with little rest and less sleep. ^^ There was 
always an immense correspondence that followed him around the 
country, made doubly burdensome by his aversion to typewriters; 
innumerable hands to shake; articles to write; old comrades to look 
up; and all the petty details that go with a political campaign. He 
bore up through it all despite poor health and wearing nerves. He 
was more determined than ever to show that militant socialism still 
had a wide audience. 

Despite their growing respectability. Socialists were often viewed 
as distinct menaces. Consequently, though Debs himself was sel- 
dom bothered, many lesser Socialists were harassed. When Roose- 
velt was shot by a fanatic in Milwaukee, long a Socialist strong- 
hold, the party's national headquarters issued a statement that the 
would-be assassin had never been a Socialist.^^ Following a riot 
in New York City involving an estimated 20,000 people and 200 
policemen, the courts ruled that Socialists were entitled to use 
city parks for their meetings. '*° In Portland, Oregon, a group of 
Socialists was arrested for making "derogatory and libellous" remarks 
about Theodore Roosevelt and his family. The arrest of Socialists 
on similar charges elsewhere was fairly common.*^ After consider- 
able controversy the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the 
Socialists were entitled to display the red flag since it was a legiti- 
mate party emblem.'*" All these incidents merely reflected the 
established order's growing concern over socialism's success with 
the voters. In reality every such arrest was a compliment to the 
influence the Socialists had built up since 1900. 

In Los Angeles, whose city fathers shed few tears over Socialist 
problems, especially after the bombing of the Times plant in 1910, 
Socialists were forbidden the use of city sidewalks and street- 
corners for meetings.*^ Perhaps in spite, but more likely because 
the opportunity was too good to miss, the Socialists were ready for 
Governor Hiram Johnson of California, the Progressive vice-presi- 

'i^ Herbert Moi'ais and William Cahn, Gene Debs: the Story of a 
Fighting American, New York, 1948, 87. 

39 New York Times, October 15, 1912. 

40 Ibid., September 26, 1912. The estimate of the crowd is probably 
too high. 

41 Ibid., October 17, 1912; Los Angeles Times, October 18, 1912. 

42 "Flying Red Flags," Public, 15 (September 20, 1912), 892. 

43 Los Angeles Times, October 1, 1912. 


dential nominee, when he came to speak in EKzabeth, New Jersey, 
The Governor had hardly begun his address when a local Socialist 
set up a stand at the edge of the crowd and heckled and disputed 
with Johnson throughout his speech. ^'^ 

The crucial nature of the contest of 1912, the high point of the 
long progressive groundswell, was sensed by all who watched the 
developing campaign. It was not long before the consensus elimin- 
ated Taft and narrowed the field to Roosevelt and Wilson. Despite 
the heavy competition for liberal votes, most of which were con- 
ceded to the Progressives and Democrats, the Socialists were still 
viewed with alarm in certain quarters. The distinguished historian 
Albert Bushnell Hart warned that unless the Progressives were 
elected there would be a socialist administration in Washington in 
sixteen years.^^ 

His tour finished, a weary and exhausted Debs returned home 
to await the results. He himself had been unable to register be- 
cause he was away from Terre Haute during the registration period, 
so instead of going to the polls he stayed home to celebrate his 
fifty-seventh birthday.^^ No special wire service was set up by 
the Socialists. Instead, scouts in the major population areas tele- 
graphed the results to the Debs home as soon as they became known. '^'^ 

The final tally showed that Debs polled 897,011 votes of ap- 
proximately 14,000,000 cast, an all time high for the Socialists to 
that date. The national campaign committee's confident prediction 
that Debs would receive two million votes and that ^elve Socialist 
Congressmen would be elected^ ^ proved illusory, however, for 
even Berger lost his seat from the Milwaukee district where the 
opposition combined to beat him."*^. There were brighter spots in 
the total picture, however. The Socialists outvoted the Republicans 
in Mississippi, which may not have been a major accomplishment 
considering the state of the GOP in that area. Eighteen new So- 
cialist legislators were elected in various local contests across the 
country.^^ Many local offices, ranging from road inspector to 
mayor, were filled by Socialist candidates. 

44 Ibid., October 23, 1912. 

45 New York Times, September 30, 1912. 

46 Chicago Tribune, November 6, 1912. 

47 Los Angeles Times, November 5, 1912. 

48 New York Call, October 10, 1912. 

49 "Election Results," Public, 15 (November 15, 1912), 1089. 

50 "The Socialist Vote," Literary Digest, 45 (November 23, 1912), 


What strengths and weaknesses did the total returns indicate 
in the politics of American socialism? First of all, the center of 
Socialist strength remained situated in the broad area west of the 
Mississippi, mainly in the Mississippi Valley itself, the birthplace 
of so many radical movements in American history. The hard years 
of organizational work in that area consistently repaid the Socialists 
in higher votes. Ohio led her sister states in the Socialist column 
with 89,930 votes for Debs. She was followed by Pennsylvania, 
with 83,614; Illinois, with 81,249; California, with 79,201; and 
New York, with 63,381.^^ When the vote was broken down pro- 
portionally, however, these states appeared further down the list. 
Agrarian Oklahoma, where the Socialists had capitalized on poverty 
and general social unrest, tied with Nevada, each state giving 
Debs 16.61 per cent of its vote. They were followed by Montana, 
with 13.66; Arizona, with 13.33; Washington, with 12.43; and 
California, with 11.76.^" It was in these far western states, scenes 
of so many labor troubles since 1900, that the Socialists registered 
their greatest proportional gains and where they showed their 
greatest grass roots strength. Socialist organizers in the mining and 
lumber camps of the Far West, not to forget cities like Seattle and 
Los Angeles, were eminently successful in making their influence 
felt in labor organizations and their work paid off in higher votes 
for Debs and local Socialists. 

The returns also indicated that radical socialism seemed to be 
on the rise, for the areas dominated by the "slowcialists" — New 
York, Wisconsin and other parts of the Midwest — gained far less 
ground than the western areas where Debs' brand of socialism found 
many adherents. In Pennsylvania and West Virginia, where the 
Socialists had agitated among striking miners, the vote was up as 
much as 300 per cent over the 1908 figures. If Roosevelt and 
Wilson took Socialist votes they seem to have taken them from the 
"parlor socialists. "^^ 

Although the total vote was far below the two million forecast 
the significance of the party's showing should not be overlooked. 
The fact that the Socialists did so well in the face of overwhelming 
liberal opposition indicates that there was not only a hard core of 
faithful to whom they could appeal but also that there was a con- 

si Socialist Party, Socialist Congressional Campaign Book IQH, 19-20. 

52 Ibid. 

53 Cf. the figures in Ibid., 19-20; American Labor Yearbook 1916, 


siderable body of sympathetic Americans who would mark their 
ballots for Debs even when offered the liberalism of Wilson and 
Roosevelt. Unquestionably, Debs' candidacy was the greatest single 
factor in explaining the Socialist vote. For a whole generation he 
had stood as the champion of the workingman and under-priv- 
ileged of all classes. His popularity extended far beyond the mem- 
bership rolls of the Socialist party. While the Socialists never 
captured organized labor, many workers voted for Debs, another 
explanation for the Socialist vote of 1912. Since the election of 
1912 was the culmination of the progressive urge it was only natural 
that the Socialists benefitted from political unrest. Americans who 
distrusted Roosevelt's progressivism and who were dissatisfied with 
Wilson cast their votes for Debs. 

In addition, both radical and conservative Socialists could look 
with pride on their organizational work in explaining the vote. In 
such areas as Wisconsin and New York the conservatives had 
acquired respectability and with it a certain amount of public trust. 
Their desire for reform rather than revolution and their willing- 
ness to move beyond the Progressive or Democratic position impressed 
many voters. The radicals in turn had much of which to be proud. 
They had organized parades, taken advantage of strikes, preached, 
written, and organized among the workers and farmers and their 
hard labor brought results. The whole Socialist press had been 
very active throughout the campaign and reached countless voters 
it had not served before. 

The election returns showed that the Socialists remained a force 
within American politics and that given time, funds and the proper 
climate of opinion they could make an impressive showing. The 
campaign also showed that however unorthodox their dogma, their 
campaign tactics differed little from those of their opponents. The 
whole Socialist campaign revealed a thorough understanding of 
mass psychology and the issues and tactics to which the American 
people were most susceptible. Colonel George Harvey, one of 
Wilson's early backers and a man not noted for snap political judge- 
ments, was impressed by the whole Socialist campaign. He estimated 
that without Roosevelt's competition. Debs would have received an 
additional half million votes. ^^ 

54 "The Socialist Vote in the United States," Chautauquan, 69 (Janu- 
ary, 1913), 135-136. 


But the Socialists were never able to do as well again. They 
never captured the vote of organized labor and their grass roots 
strength dwindled rather than broadened with the years. Debs 
ran for president once more, this time from jail in 1920. His total 
vote was higher than in 1912 but the percentage was cut in half. 
The World War and Russian revolution were destined to cast the 
final stone of stigma on the Socialists and to dye their works in 
deepest red as far as the average American was concerned. The 
stresses and strains introduced by the Russian revolution into the 
party structure already weakened by factions were the final straws 
that broke it. The Socialist victory celebrations of 1912 were not 
unjustified, however. The party membership had been increased; 
the party press was stimulated; Debs had made wider contacts than 
ever before. The returns indicated that there were areas where 
special efforts could be made. There was every hope within the 
Socialist ranks for even greater success in 1916 and 1920. Neither 
Debs nor his followers could have known that this was the harvest 
year, the summertime of American socialism and that only autumn 
lay ahead. 

H. Wayne Morgan 

University of California 
at Los Angeles 

The Rise of the BraziUan MiUtary 
Class, 1870-1890 

The victorious army, whose troops began returning to the cities, 
fazendas and sertoes o£ Brazil in 1870, was an army which felt 
justly proud of its feats on the battlefields during the six years 
of the war with Paraguay. Throughout the provinces of Brazil, 
the returning troops were welcomed as heroes. Not only the great 
military leaders, but all of the army, the national guard, and es- 
pecially the Voluntarios da Patria, were received with magnificent 
celebrations. The Brazilian legislature passed a resolution of con- 
gratulations and proposed that a statue of Dom Pedro II be erected 
to commemorate the victory. ^ 

There was a discordant note in the welcome accorded to some of 
the returning regiments. The government of the province of Rio 
de Janeiro seemed particularly concerned about the $200,000,000 
cost of the war and the rise of military fervor and when the Volun- 
tarios da Patria returned, they were dispersed quickly, without cere- 
mony, their standards were put away and the bands were silent. 
This shocked their commander, the Conde d' Eu, son-in-law of 
Emperor Pedro II, who protested this "... betrayal of his compan- 
ions in arms."" 

This effort to temper enthusiasm for the milil:ary class soon 
became the prevailing trend. The politicians who controlled Brazil 
in the post-war years deliberately neglected the army. The neglect 
was so obvious that a contemporary wrote: 

A forgotten army existed in Brazil. This army was badly organized, poorly 
instructed and poorly paid; it was an army where there was one officer 
for thirteen soldiers; where the number of officers and the long period of 
peace made promotions difficult to obtain; where the poor soldier lived 
outside of regimental life, detached in small garrisons of twenty, ten, five 
and even two men in the towns of the interior, a situation which was un- 
favorable to the maintenance of discipline and was destructive in every 
respect. 3 

1 Jose Francisco da Rocha Pombo, Historia do Brazil, (10 vols.), (Parte 
supplementar, Documentos para a historia do primeiro decennio da Re- 
publica), Rio de Janeiro, (N. D.), IX, 342. 

2 J. M. Pereira da Silva, Memorias do meu tempo, (2 vols.), Paris, 
1896, II, 118. 

3 P. Raphael M. Galanti, S.J., Compendia de Historia do Brasil, (5 
vols.), Sao Paulo, 1910, V, 96. 



The feeling of contempt for the politkos and of superiority over 
all civilians, which had been prevalent during the war, in the post- 
war years was bolstered by resentment and hatred for the politicians 
responsible for the neglect to which the army was subjected. The 
military leaders began to think that they "... were predestined to 
be the saviors of Brazil from the odious machinations of party leaders 
and politicians."'* 

The war with Paraguay had afforded Brazilian military leaders 
an opportunity to witness the political power and prestige enjoyed 
by the military leaders of the La Plata countries. The power and 
prestige of caudillos such as Rosas, Rivera and Lopez was envied by 
Brazilian officers. One such officer, a man destined to become the 
second president of Brazil, Floriano Peixoto, in a letter to a friend, 
praised Lopez and said of him: "... such a man as that is what 
we need in Brazil."^ 

To prevent the appearance of a Rosas, the politicians turned to 
the device of selecting respected, high ranking officers for prominent 
political positions. The Conservatives, after the Paraguayan War, 
cultivated the prestige of General Luis Alves de Lima e Silva, 
the Baron of Caxias, and the Liberals groomed General Manuel 
Luiz Osorio for the military leadership of their party. After the 
death of Caxias and Osorio, the Viscount of Pelotas was selected 
by the Liberals, and Joao Mauricio Wanderly, Baron of Cotegipe, 
the great pro-slavery Conservative leader, began to rouse the am- 
bitions of Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca so that in the future he 
would be "our Caxias." Deodoro as the Conservative military leader 
would be favored with distinguished positions, such as Senator, Presi- 
dent of the Council of State, or Minister of War, where "... the 
valiant sword will have its hilt decorated with the arms of nobility."^ 

This attempt to integrate the military into political parties for 
purposes of party prestige and political strategy failed to heal the 
breach between the politicians and the military leaders. The military 
men continued to regard the politicos as effeminate and weak men 
who were badly conducting the affairs of the country. 

4 Conselheiro, Carlos H. B. Ottoni, O Advento da Republica no Brasil, 
(5 vols.), Rio de Janeiro, 1890, 82. 

5 Oliveira Lima, O Imperio Brasileiro, 1822-1889, Sao Paulo, 1927, 144. 
See also Afonso Arinos de Melo Franco, "The Tide of Government, From 
Colony to Constitutional Democracy," The Atlantic, CXCVII, 153. Rosas, 
Rivera and Lopez — The reference is to Juan Manuel de Rosas of Argentina, 
Fructuoso Rivera of Uruguay and Francisco Solano Lopez of Paraguay. 

6 Max Fleiuss, Historia Administrativa do Brasil, Segunda Edigao, S. 
Paulo, 1922, 411. 


The military leaders had not been politically ambitious before 
the politicos courted their favor. Generally, they were honest, poor 
and frugal. After the infiltration of the politicos into their ranks, 
the military no longer were without ambition and much of their 
poverty vanished. Only their quality of professional honor remained 
unblemished. And the failure of the generals to understand the 
absence of a sense of professional honor among the politicians was 
to become another source of the "Military Questions" whose appear- 
ance signalled the decline of the monarchy.^ 

By 1883 the abolitionist and Republican movements and the 
diffusion of the Positivist doctrine had produced compromising atti- 
tudes among many of the younger army officers. Membership in 
political parties frequently caused these officers to engage in heated 
debate with political opponents. In these conflicts, the spirit of 
the military class soon revealed itself and the personal nature of 
the contests took on the delicate character of a class question. 

The first incidents demonstrating the friction between the military 
and the politicians occurred early in 1883. Carlos Affonso de 
Assis Figueredo, Minister of War, caused Colonel Frias Viller to 
be imprisoned as punishment for a breach of discipline.^ The inci- 
dent received little attention in the press, nor did the military 
class openly display its irritation. However, a bill introduced in the 
Senate drew loud and angry protests from the leaders of the military 
class. The proposed law provided for the payment of subsistence 
to retired soldiers or to their widows, but under certain conditions 
payments could be withheld. One provision of the measure stated 
that: "The government will no longer permit awards of pecuniary 
value to be made to its employees; and when the good of the public 
service demands it, they will be retired or dismissed."^ 

The opposition to the bill was led by Lieutenant Colonel Senna 
Madureira, commandant of the Militray School of Rio de Janeiro, 
who wrote a series of articles which was published in the Jorndl do 
Commercio. Madureira called the proposed law a strong attack upon 
the military, who, he said, through it would be presented a Trojan 
horse. The opposition to the measure was successful, but the 

7 Oliveira Vianna, "A Queda do Imperio, Contribuicoes para a bio- 
graphia de Dom Pedro II," Revista do Instituto Historico e Geographico 
Brasileiro, Tomo Especial, 845. 

8 Jorndl do Commercio, Edigao Commorativa do 1° Centenario da In- 
dependencia do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, September 7, 1922. 

9 Anfrisco Fialho, Historia da Fundacdo da Republica no Brasil, Rio 
de Janeiro, 1891, 48. 


politicos immediately renewed the ministerial prohibition against 
discussion by army or naval officers of political or military affairs 
in the newspapers. -^"^ 

During April, 1884, Lieutenant Colonel Madureira, then com- 
mandant of the Artillery School of Campo Grande, permitted the 
students to celebrate the arrival of an abolitionist jangada from 
Ceara, an imperial province which had freed most of its slaves. 
When the minister of war requested information concerning the 
celebration, Madureira asserted that the minister was not competent 
to inquire about the events which occurred within the school and 
stated that he was subordinate to the Conde d' Eu.^-^ Madureira 
was dismissed from the command of the school and was reprimanded 
in an order of the day issued by the minister of war "... for the 
good of the discipline of the army."-^^ 

The following year, 1885, another incident aroused the wrath 
of the military class. An isolated infantry company was inspected 
by Colonel Cunha Mattos who recommended that a council be named 
to investigate the company and that the company commander, Cap- 
tain Pedro Jose de Lima, be relieved of command. Four months 
later Captain Lima complained to the Minister of War that the 
colonel had made a hasty inspection and had failed to denounce 
his friends who were responsible for the conditions of the troops. 
Captain Lima was ordered to appear before a Council of War. 
Colonel Mattos was severely criticized by friends of Captain Lima. 
In response to this criticism, he asserted that the Minister of War 
had failed to interpret properly the information given him con- 
cerning Captain Lima.^^ Following the publication of the colonel's 
statement, the minister ordered Mattos confined to his regimental 

This personal conflict between the officers and the two politicians 
developed into a conflict between the military class and the bureau- 
crats of the government. The Viscount of Pelotas, senator from 
Rio Grande do Sul and a cavalry leader during the Paraguayan War, 
defended Cunha Mattos from the floor of the senate, stating that 
". . . The officers of the army should see in that which their com- 
rade has suffered an insult to all of them." When reminded of 
the regulations prohibiting army officers from criticizing the gov- 

10 Galanti, V, 97. 

11 Rocha Pombo, X, 54. 

12 Tobias Monteiro, Pesquisas e Depoimentos para a historia, Rio de 
Janeiro, 1913, 125. 

13 Fialho, 45. 


ernment without permission in the newspapers, Pelotas replied, "I 
place my honor above everything."^"* 

In 1887, when the military question entered its most acute stage, 
the Baron of Cotegipe, President of the Ministry, attributed to 
Pelotas the major responsibility for the conflict. "A seed produced 
a great tree, and the words of Pelotas have been the seed of the 
question. "^^ 

The Cunha Mattos incident led Senator Franco de Sa, former 
Minister of War, to make reference to the dismissal of Lieutenant 
Colonel Madureira as a result of the jangada incident of 1884. 
Madureira, commandant of the Artillery School of Rio Pardo in 
Rio Grande do Sul, vigorously defended himself and said that his 
dismissal had been the result of Franco de Sa's jealousy of him.^^ 
Since Madureira's statements appeared in the ]ornal do Commercio 
and other newspapers of the empire, he was censured by the Min- 
ister of War, Alfredo Chaves. 

The censure evoked further protest from Madureira, who in a 
newspaper article stated that "When a competent authority passes a 
law forbidding the military from defending themselves against 
members of parliament, who seemingly have exclusive privilege 
of inflicting insults, on that day, I shall leave the ranks of the 

Madureira's article quickly aroused the emotions of the military 
class. This was especially the case in Rio Grande do Sul, where 
Madureira was stationed. Its proximity to the Rio de la Plata 
republics permitted easy infiltration of caudillo ideas and the peo- 
ples of the province shared the republican sentiments of their 
neighbors across the borders. But support for Madureira's stand 
was not confined to Rio Grande do Sul, he received telegrams of 
support from all parts of the empire. 

The acting president of the province. Marshal Deodoro da 
Fonseca, formally heard Madureira's case and then informed the 
adjutant general that Madureira had been right in defending himself 
against the accusations of Franco de Sa.^^ When the president 
of the ministry, Cotegipe, reminded the marshal of his duties as 
acting president of the province, Deodoro replied, "If I have duties 

14 Vianna, loc. cit., 851. 

15 Rocha Pombo, X, 56. 

16 Monteiro, 180. 

17 Fialho, 56. 

18 Ernesto Senna, Deodoro, Subsidios para a histdria, Rio de Janeiro, 
1896, 252. 


as president . . . , I also have duties as a soldier who is offended by 
the ingratitude shown the military class. "^^ 

Deodoro was immediately removed from the position of acting 
president by Cotegipe, who referring to the attitude of Deodoro 
and his fellow officers, informed Deodoro that "... an army which 
protests against the acts of the minister of war ... in time might 
protest against the government itself.""° 

In response to the letter of dismissal, Deodoro bitterly denounced 
the government. He declared that "... the military can not and 
should not be subjected to offenses and insults from the Francos 
de Sa and Simplicios. . . ." His letter made the names of the hated 
civilians plural so that Cotegipe could observe that his anger was 
directed against all who sought to curtail the pride and honor of 
the military class. The marshal also wrote that ". . . if fate de- 
termines the decline of the military class, on that day, I, despairing 
that I can not be superior to a commander of the national guard, 
a simple and special political figure, shall break my sword, and 
ashamed, seek as a means of livelihood, after the example of many 
others, the chair of deputy, so that I too, may insult whom I wish."-^ 

Cotegipe and the Conservative Party leaders had been grooming 
Deodoro for the role of party military leader. However, this de- 
nunciation of government policy caused Cotegipe to fear possible 
armed rebellion in Rio Grande do Sul and he ordered Deodoro, 
Madureira, Oliveira and Vasques to report to the minister of war 
for assignment to new duties.^" 

The question of the legality of the avisos of the Minister of War 
was settled by an imperial decree which authorized military officers 
to express their opinions in the newspapers. Cunha Mattos and 
Senna Madureira immediately demanded that the censures against 
them be revoked. The ministry on its part announced that the 
censures would be rescinded if the officers requested that such action 
be taken. This the two men refused to do. 

During the summer and fall months of 1886, the tension be- 
tween the military leaders and the civilian politicians continued. 
Deodoro, the strong man around whom the military and their 
sympathizers rallied, scheduled a meeting of army officers in the 

19 Fialho, 65. 

20 Fleiuss, 417. 

21 Galanti, V, 99. ^ 

22 Antonio Joaquim Ribas, Perfil biographico de Campos Salles, Rio 
de Janeiro, 1896, 110. 


Recre'w Dramatka, February 2, 1887, wherein the complaints of the 
military were to be discussed. About two hundred officers were 
present at the meeting and Dedoro's arrival caused a tremendous 
round of applause. The officers at this meeting announced that 
they "... did not consider the conflict between them and the gov- 
ernment honorably ended . . . while the avisos, which were justly 
condemned by the imperial resolution of last November 3, remain 
in effect.""^ They appealed to Dom Pedro to use his influence to 
end the agitation over the question. 

Deodoro, three days after this meeting in a letter to Dom Pedro, 
reminded the emperor that the imperial resolution of November 3, 
1886, had been ignored by the ministry and asked ". . . in the name 
of the army, in the name of the military class, I beg Your Majesty 
to attend to the question and decide it with the complete justice 
which characterizes all of the acts of Your Imperial Majesty.""'* 

Don Pedro, on receipt of the letter, remarked that he would 
take action. The action taken was directed against the marshal 
who was dismissed from the post of Quartermaster General. It is 
possible that the emperor and the ministry expected Deodoro to 
resign rather than submit, but if such were their hopes, Deodoro did 
not fulfill them. 

On February 12, 1887, Deodoro wrote another letter to the 
emperor wherein he informed Pedro II that the military asked only 
that injustice be righted. "... I await justice from your majesty, 
that justice which your minister of war has denied us. . . . On being 
denied the justice for which I beg, I shall be ashamed of the uni- 
form which I wear.""^ 

Soon after receiving this letter the emperor accepted the resigna- 
tion of the minister of war. The new minister, Ribeiro Luz, did 
not order the censures revoked and the tension betv»'een the govern- 
ment and the military class continued."^ 

Following conferences with Quintino Bocayuva and other repub- 
lican and military leaders, Deodoro decided that a last-resort appeal 
should be made to the Parliament for a peaceful settlement of the 
conflict. The appeal, actually an ultimatum, was published, May 
14, 1887. It reviewed the grievances of the military class and stated 
that the protest had to be delivered to the Parliament because the 

23 Monteiro, 137. 

24 Fialho, 76. 

25 Ihid., 76. 

26 Monteiro, 141. 


military would maintain their resistance to the unconstitutional cen- 
sures until they received full satisfaction."^ 

Cotegipe continued his refusal to have the centures revoked, de- 
spite having learned that Deodoro and Pelotas had the support of all 
of the garrisons in Brazil except the one at Pernambuco. However, 
when Silveira Martins and Affonso Celso, Viscount of Ouro Preto, 
offered to mediate the dispute, Cotegipe quickly accepted the offer. 
These men then persuaded the Senate to adopt a motion inviting the 
government to terminate the effect of the censures against the army 
officers. One Brazilian historian, Max Fleiuss, asserts that the 
republic was as good as established on the date of the passage of the 
above resolution. 

Cotegipe, having tasted the steel of the military, immediately 
sought to neutralize the position which it had assumed in Brazilian 
politics. Many students were expelled from the military school. 
Officers, who because of their opposition to the ministry in Rio 
Grande do Sul had been ordered to report to the minister of war, 
were retained on duty in Rio de Janeiro or sent to remote provinces. 
This action caused no new outburst of indignation from the mititary 

The provocation for such action came early in 1888, when Lieu- 
tenant Captain Leite Lobo of the Navy, a visitor in the home of a 
licentious woman, was arrested and severely beaten. An adjutant- 
general of the Navy, an Army officer and a relative of Lobo were 
scornfully dealt with before Lobo was released. The Naval Officers 
Club protested to the ministry against the treatment which had been 
accorded Lobo. After the Military Club of Rio de Janeiro informed 
the naval officers that they could be counted on for support, the 
Naval Club declared itself in permanent session until satisfaction 
was given for the offense which had been committed against Lobo.^^ 
The government seeking to comply, dismissed the police officer 
who had commanded the station wherein Lobo had been confined. 
But the Naval Club was not satisfied, it now demanded the dismissal 
of the chief of police. Meanwhile, there were near-riots in the 
streets of the city as a result of incidents between military and naval 
personnel and soldiers of the police. Consequently, the police were 
removed from the streets and their duties were taken over by the 

27 Galanti, V, 191. 

28 Galanti, V, 103. 


The Princess Regent, Isabella, who was occupying the throne in 
the absence of her father, yielded to the demands of the military 
and dismissed the chief of police. This new blow to the prestige of 
the ministry and the rising clamor for the abolition of slavery, led 
to the fall of the ministry. 

On March 10, 1888, Joao Alfredo, Conservative, was invited to 
organize a new cabinet. The new ministry weathered the hostile 
waters of the fall and winter, but in November, 1888, a clash be- 
tween soldiers of the police and troops of the Seventeenth Infantry 
Battalion in Sao Paulo led to a new crisis. The officers of that 
battalion asked the adjutant general, Severiano da Fonseca, to revoke 
the transfer order which had followed the incident in Sao Paulo. 
They also demanded the dismissal of the Sao Paulo chief of police. 
The ministry, fearing another military question, yielded to the de- 
mands of the military, but in the dismissal of police officer no 
mention was made of the circumstances surrounding his discharge. 
When the newspapers of Sao Paulo hinted that the officer had 
been dismissed at his own request and that the demand of the 
military had not been a factor, Severiano da Fonseca, protested that 
the ministry had failed to give justice to the military and threatened 
to resign his position. The ministry immediately changed its po- 
sition and informed Fonseca that the police officer had been dis- 
missed by a decree of December 1, 1888, not at his request, but for 
the convenience of the public service.^^ 

Joao Alfredo therefore made a determined effort to end military 
interference in his government. Marshal Deodoro was transferred 
to Matto Grosso. A rumor was current in Rio de Janeiro that the 
ministery planned to destroy the prestige of the Fonseca brothers. 
Deodoro was the unofficial leader of the military class and Severiano, 
as adjutant general, was the official leader of the army. Perhaps 
in order to silence this rumor, the government awarded Severiano 
the honorary title of Baron of Alagoas. 

Following the emancipation of the slaves. May 13, 1888, the 
Alfredo ministry, unable to unite the Conservative party, resigned 
and was succeeded to the ministry of Affonso Celso, Liberal. Celso, 
Viscount of Ouro Preto, sought to forestall the advent of a republic 
by demonstrating that the monarchy was flexible enough to satisfy 
all of the demands of the people. ^° 

29 Rocha Pombo, X, 99. 

30 Visconde de Ouro Preto, "Advento da dictadura militar no Brasil," 
Revista do Instituto Historico e Geographico Brasileiro, CL, 162. 


When the House of Deputies refused to support Ouro Preto's 
program it was dissolved and new elections were scheduled for 
August 31, 1889. Meanwhile, Ouro Preto ordered an increase 
in the strength of the police of Rio de Janeiro and the organization of 
a National and a Civic Guard whose strength was expected to equal 
that of the army by December, 1889. 

Marshal Deodoro returned to Rio de Janeiro, September l4, 
1889, and received a gala welcome from his comrades-in-arms and 
from the students of the military school. That day Ouro Preto 
became involved in an incident which increased the tension between 
the government and the military class. The minister, thinking that 
Lieutenant Caroline, commander of the guard, had been sleeping 
when he should have been on duty, ordered the officer confined 
to the headquarters of his unit. The lieutenant resorted to the 
press as a means of defense. 

The Caroline incident was soon followed by another. Ouro 
Preto, capital city of the province of Minas Geraes, was the scene 
of a clash between army officers and the police of that city. The 
ministry ordered the Twenty-third Infantry Battalion, to which 
Lieutenant Caroline had been assigned, transferred to Minas Geraes 
to replace the troops who had been involved in the incident with 
the police. The officers of the Twenty-third Infantry had taken 
a prominent part in the ovation accorded Deodoro when he re- 
turned to Rio de Janeiro. 

While these incidents were occurring, men such as Captain 
Adolpho da Fontoura Menna Barreto and Quintino Bocayuva were 
poisoning the mind of Deodoro against the government by be- 
moaning the fate which had befallen the military class. They as- 
sured him that the majority of the army stood ready to die with 
him in defense of the military class. They also pointed out the 
increase in strength of the Civic and National Guards and spoke 
of the proposed reduction in the strength of the army.^^ Deodoro, 
after having listened to these reports exclaimed, "No, I shall not 
permit this. ... I will draw up the artillery and carry the seven 
ministers to the public and deliver myself to the judgment of the 



On October 22, 1889, the most outspoken military disciple of 

31 Rocha Pombo, X, 112. 

32 Ibid., X, 112. 


Republicanism, Benjamin Constant Botelho de Magalhaes,^^ in a 
speech at the Military School of Praia Vermelha and in the presence 
of the minister of war, Candido de Oliveira, protested against, 
"... the complaints of poor discipline, insubordination and disorder 
which the government parties constantly throw into the face of 
the military." Constant concluded his speech by insolently chal- 
lenging the government through his claim that it was "... the un- 
deniable right of the armed forces to depose the legitimate powers 
. . . when the military feels that its honor requires that this be done, 
or judges it necessary and convenient for the good of the country."^'* 

When Ouro Preto learned of this breach of discipline and dis- 
cussed it with Dom Pedro, the emperor, displaying little concern, 
said, "Send him to me and I shall speak frankly to him and he will 
return to the right road."^""* But Benjamin Constant did not return 
to the right road and it was he who convinced Deodoro that the 
marshal should relent in his desire "to accompany the old one's 
casket," that a change of ministry had not solved the military's 
problem and that only the establishment of a republic would prevent 
the destruction of the military class. ^^ 

On November 9, 1889, Deodoro called a meeting of the Military 
Club to discuss the transfer of the Twenty-second Infantry Battalion 
to the distant province of Amazons. The officers of the Military 
Club decided to take no action for eight days and if after that period, 
justice had not been given the military class, a revolution would 

After the departure of the Twenty-second Infantry, Benjamin 
Constant renewed his pleas to Deodoro that the military take ac- 
tion. Deodoro, on November 10, yielded. At a meeting in 
Deodoro's home, November 11, plans for the revolution were com- 
pleted. The military-republican revolution planned for November 
20, because of rumors of the pending arrest of Deodoro and other 
army officers, began during the night of November 14. Early in the 
morning of November 15, after an almost bloodless revolution, 
Deodoro confronted the Ouro Preto ministry and informed it that 

33 Benjamin Constant, the most steadfast positivist in the army, had 
for many years been professor of mathematics in the military schools of 
Brazil and as such had been able to indoctrinate many of the younger 
officers in the positivist philosophy of Auguste Comte. See also General 
Bibiano Sergio Macado da Fontoura Costallot, "Exercito," Livro de Cen- 
tenario, 1500-1900, Rio de Janeiro, 1901, II, 24. 

34 Galanti, V, 105 and Fleiuss, 425. 

35 Vienna, loc. cit., 866. 

36 Monteiro, 206. 


he had placed himself at the head of the army in order to avenge 
the great offenses and injustices which the government had com- 
mitted against the military class. ^^ The military leader then spoke 
at length about the service which his class had rendered the coun- 
try. The courageous Ouro Preto answered Deodoro's statement of 
military sacrifice by saying that, "It is not only on the battlefield 
that one serves one's country and makes sacrifices for it. Being here 
and listening to the general at this moment is not of less value than 
passing some days and nights in a swamp."^^ 

Having accomplished his primary objective: the overthrow of 
the ministry which had threatened to destroy the army, Deodoro 
was reluctant to demand the abdication of the emperor. After 
assuring himself that he had the support of the naval officers and 
of the people of Rio de Janeiro and after much persuasion from 
republican leaders, Deodoro ordered the proclamation of the estab- 
lishment of the republic. ^^ The general later declared, "I did not 
wish to proclaim the Republic, that was the work of Aristides, 
Benjamin and Quintino."^'^ The work of Aristides, Benjamin and 
Quintino was effective. On November 16, 1889, Dom Pedro was 
informed by letter that he must leave Brazil within twenty-four 
hours. *^ 

Marshal Deodoro accepted the leadership of the provisional 
government and the United States of Brazil joined the ranks of her 
fellow Latin American republics as nations wherein the politicians 
must keep a tactful finger upon the pulse of the military giant and 
guide their policies in such a way as not to arouse its ire, lest the 
politicians' political playhouse be destroyed. 

Charles W. Simmons 

Grambling College, 

37 Ouro Preto, loc. cit., 59. 

38 Fleiuss, 432. 

39 Oliveira Lima, "Sept ans de Republique au Brasil," La Nouvelle 
Revue, CI, 514. 

40 Fleiuss, 437. 

41 Braz do Amaral, "O imperedore e o proclamacao da Republica," 
"Revista do Instituto Historico e Geographico Brasileiro, CLII, 472. 

Book Reviews 

Lincoln Finds a General: A Military Study of the Civil War. luka to 
Vicksburg, Vol. IV. By Kenneth P. Williams. Pp. xii, 616. New 
York, The Macmillan Company, 1956. $7.50. 

In this fourth volume of his monumental study of the Union side of 
the Civil War, Kenneth P. Williams deals with the war in the West over 
a twelve-month period that began with July, 1862, and ended with Grant's 
capture of Vicksburg on July 4, 1863. Much of the book is concerned with 
movements not directly relating to the final, triumphant (for the Union) 
climax. There is the story of the long and tangled campaign in which 
Buell and Bragg groped for each other in Mississippi, Tennessee, and 
Kentucky like two blindfolded fighters, not coming to grips until they 
met at Perryville on October 8. (Even then, in fitting irony, Buell remained 
unaware for several hours that his army was engaged with the enemy.) 
There is the story of Rosecrans' operations before he superseded Buell, 
punctuated by the battles of luka in mid-September and Corinth in early 
October. There is the story of Rosecrans after he superseded Buell, cul- 
minating in the bloody battle of Stones River or Murfreesboro, on the last 
day of 1862 and the first days of the new year. 

Simultaneously, Professor Williams deals with the opening moves in 
Grant's progress — or lack of it — toward Vicksburg: with Van Dorn's de- 
struction of the Union supply depot at Holly Springs; with Sherman's 
disastrous assault on Chickasaw Bluffs, which proved that Vicksburg could 
not be approached from the Yazoo; with the futile operations in the bayous 
of the Mississippi. The narrative concludes with the audacious and bril- 
liantly executed campaign that began with the running of the Vicksburg 
batteries and the crossing of the Mississippi, progressed with the movement 
north and east, entered its last stage with the envelopment of the river 
fortress, and ended in a great Union victory. 

If this summary is confusing to the general reader so, it must be ad- 
mitted, is much of Professor Williams' narrative. A section deals with 
Buell and Bragg, the next section with Rosecrans and Price, the next with 
a subordinate command or two, then back to Buell and Bragg, and so on 
until one finds continuity in the account of the Vicksburg campaign. Perhaps 
the book had to mirror the complexity of the operations themselves. If that 
be admitted, the fact that this volume makes greater demands upon the 
reader than its three predecessors remains a valid comment. 

As always. Professor Williams relies mainly upon the Official Records, 
a method the merits and demerits of which have already been sufficiently 
argued. And as always, the author does not hesitate to pass a technical 
military judgment upon the individual actions and general capacities of 
the officers involved. This reviewer is not competent to appraise the 
soundness of these criticisms, although he cannot help wondering whether 



an officer enveloped in the "fog of war" does not deserve a little more 
charity than Mr. Williams sometimes extends. 

When an author undertakes as massive a venture into history as 
Lincoln Finds a General, he should be judged by the entire work rather than 
by a fraction of it. If "luka to Vicksburg" does not quite measure up — 
and that may be a fallacious judgment — the slipping-off is too slight to 
deter one from predicting that the book, when finished, will be one of the 
few truly great contributions to the literature of the Civil War. 

Paul M. Angle 
Chicago Historical Society 

A History of Chicago. The Rise of a Modern City, 1871-1893. Volume 
III. By Bessie Louise Pierce. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1957. 
Pp. 575, xxxvi. Illustrated. $8.50. 

Exactly twenty years ago the first volume of the four volume work of 
Professor Pierce made its appearance and received its welcome as A History 
of Chicago. The Beginning of a City, 1673—1848. The second volume, 
From Town to City, 1848—1871, came out in 1940. Circumstances beyond 
the author's control have prevented the publication of the present volume 
until this year. 

The book, done with a very workmanlike and professional touch, matches 
the pleasing style of its predecessors and sustains reader interest to the final 
page. It is a history of all Chicago people and their widely diversified 
activities, rather than a collection of sketches of the few prominent persons 
and institutions. This democratic, cosmopolitan approach to the history 
of the metropolis is most appropriately chosen and fortunately well fol- 
lowed from the first chapter, which describes the city in ashes in 1871, 
to the climactic chapter, ""The White City," or, the Columbian Exposition 
city of 1892—1893. During the twenty years the growth of Chicago to 
its maturity offered Professor Pierce a breath-taking theme, and she has 
done exceptionally well in painting her portrait realistically with a fine eye 
to details of light and shadow. 

The second chapter, '"The Fabric of Society," describes the people who 
came to Chicago from the South, from mid-western farmlands, and from 
many foreign lands. These newcomers doubled the population, trebled the 
land area of the city, and established themselves in colonies, in which the 
customs, languages, and cultures of their motherlands were perpetuated. 
As in all cities, but more abundantly present in Chicago were the problems 
of the slums, sanitation, police and fire protection, graft, and other devil- 
ment. Despite the unfavorable realities there was definite and encouraging 
progress, especially in the vast amount of building of palatial homes, of 
middle class dwellings, apartments, flats, hotels, railroads, factories, and 
civic institutions. 

The following four chapters, under the general heading: "The Eco- 
nomic Empire of Chicago," are devoted to the greater elements of Chicago's 


livelihood and her contribution to national wealth. The topics traced are: 
The Grain Trade, The Lumber Trade, Livestock and Meat Packing, Manu- 
facturing and Merchandising, Banking, Investments, and Finance. In each 
section the prime movers in the development are indicated and ample sta- 
tistics are introduced in text and footnotes. Moreover, lesser but important 
contributors to the growth are given their due credit, as for instance pub- 
lishers, railroads, organizations and clubs. 

With capital and management thus carefully traced two chapters nar- 
rate the story of "Labor's Quest for Security." These are packed with in- 
formation on the origins of labor problems still in the public eye. The 
next chapters are on "The Expanding Role of Government," and "The 
Profile of Politics." Anyone acquainted with Chicago's political life will 
know how difficult Mrs. Pierce's task was to assess objectively the actions 
of politicians and how difficult it is to obtain necessary documentation. 
However, she does so, and concludes that "No election was free from 
charges of fraud and corruption. Critics of political behavior with a de- 
pressing persistence bemoaned the state of morality of those engaged in 
carrying out the duties of their offices." (P. 380.) It is refreshing and 
encouraging to turn to the last chapters covering "The increase of knowl- 
edge," the schools, the arts, the culture, religion, humanitarianism, the 
amusements, games, publications, and clubs. 

The selective bibliography will earn the praise of scholars, including 
as it does many blocks of manuscript materials and private collections of 
documents and reports, along with the customary books, pamphlets, news- 
papers, periodicals, and official papers. In an appendix there is a collec- 
tion of thirty statistical tables pertinent to the text. Fifteen maps and illus- 
trations, an excellent format and index complete the good book. 

Loyola University, Chicago 

Jerome V. Jacobsen 

How the Merrimac Won. By Robert Welter Daly. Thomas Y. Crowell 
Company, New York. 1957. Pp. xii, 212. $4.00. 

Our Civil War brought a tremendous change in American military 
and naval concepts, and this chiefly with respect to close cooperation be- 
tween land and sea forces operating conjointly both in grand strategy and 
local tactics. The campaigns along the Mississippi have hitherto claimed 
most attention in pointing this new departure. It was, however, the whirling 
conflicts before Washington and Richmond that stood foremost in the 
fears and in the struggles of the opposing forces. And in this area there 
is no more illuminating demonstration than the historic stand taken by 
the Merrimac. 

Much has been written about the "epic" clash between the Monitor of 
Ericsson and the ironclad that came out of the brain of Mallory. Their 
predecessors in the Crimean War had first employed the supposedly absolute 
weapon for the destruction of land batteries and of wooden sailing ships. 


Nine years later during the two months from March to May, 1862, the 
fundamental weapon was employed on the vital Virginia front where Mc- 
Clellan hoped to fulfill Lincoln's hopes and bring an early end to the war. 

Professor Daly, in this monograph that is as entertaining as it is pro- 
found, offers an entirely new and — to a layman- — a completely convincing 
idea of what happened at the mouth of the James in those brief sixty-four 
days. He lifts the action from that of a dual between two doughty warriors 
to the higher realm of strategy. The Confederate ship was designedly used 
to blunt the attack that would have captured the capital of the South and 
thus to prolong the warfare for another three years. There is no doubt 
that this result took place. If so, then the Merrimac holds a most honored 
place in the history of war and in the rich armory of American policy on 
the conduct of war. 

In his favored position at the Annapolis Academy, Professor Daly and 
his students have given great attention not only to Russian naval history, but 
from this first interest they have gone on to imaginative exploitation of our 
operations on the sea. A happy insight inclined him to explore once more 
the legend current in our texts and military manuals on the "victory" of the 
Monitor as seen in the deliberate wrecking and burning of the Aierrhnac that 
morning of May 11, 1862. The range of his study can be seen in his 
appended list of twenty-seven books and sixty scholarly articles not con- 
sulted by the standard biographers of the Merrimac (Trexler) and the 
Monitor (McCordock). He has missed none of the available materials 
from the war offices of both contestants and from contemporaries in the 
field or in posts of civil importance. 

The book quite naturally makes no effort to give undue space to the 
actual battles of the ironclads, beyond a very successful demolition of the 
myth of victory gained by one over the other. His attention is wholly 
focused on proving the strategic purpose shown in the building and em- 
ployment of the mighty floating menace. How the Merrimac hurt McClennan 
and how she spread panic in Northern officialdom, is amply clarified, as is 
the stroke of genius whereby Lincoln ordered his professional fighters to 
capture Sewell's point from the rear and thus tumble Norfolk out of 
Johnson's hands. The study is bound to stir controversy, and understanding. 
It is exceptionally well supplied with maps, notes of explanation and 
citation, and a pleasing format. 

W. Eugene Shiels, S.J. 

Xavier University, Cincinnati 

Notes and Comments 

Guide to the Manuscripts of the State Historical Society of 
Wisconsin Supplement Number One has recently been published 
at Madison by the Society. The listing, calendaring, and editing 
have been capably taken care of by Josephine L. Harper, Manu- 
scripts Librarian, and her research assistant, Sharon C. Smith. 
Moreover, they have prepared a very good, detailed index for the 
790 items listed. The earlier GuidQ to which this is a supplement, 
described the manuscript collections of the State Historical Society, 
except the Draper collection, to 1940. The present volume describes 
the enormous accessions from that time to May, 1956, and promises 
new supplements from time to time. The numbering of the 
materials is continuous, so that the first Guide ended with item 
number 802, the Supplement begins with 803, and the projected 
supplement number two will begin with number 1594. 

The compilers point out in a preface the similarity and dis- 
similarity between the first Guide and the Supplement. In the 
latter they include manuscripts, copies and microfilms of docu- 
ments whose content and interest extend over the country rather 
than to the limited area of Wisconsin. Wisconsin state, county, 
and municipal records are excluded in view of the modern public 
records program, though some papers of Wisconsin governor's 
prior to 1943 are listed. Copies of some materials from federal 
archives are listed. Smaller accessions of one to ten pages, omitted 
from the Guide, are included in the Supplement, when they have 
more than very local interest. Many major accessions have been 
made by microfilming manuscripts in various libraries and archives. 
Manuscripts not yet processed and those whose use has been limited 
by donors are listed separately in the last ten pages of the com- 
pilation. Many entries are the fruit of two great projects for col- 
lecting materials, namely, the Labor History Project and the Medical 
History Project. The records of labor organizations gathered in 
the state are a noteworthy collection, and to these national labor 
records are being added. The Medical History Project, inaugurated 
in 1951, has brought together a wealth of entries on the history 
of medicine and dentistry in Wisconsin. The State Historical 
Society should be justly proud of the achievements in history which 
this volume represents, the achievement of collecting documents for 



scholars and for posterity and the achievement of making the 
citizens of Wisconsin increasingly aware of their historical past. 

* * * * 

Handbook of Latin Amreican Studies: No. 19, edited by Francisco 
Aguilera and assistant editor Phyllis Carter, prepared by a num- 
ber of scholars in the Hispanic Foundation in the Library of Congress, 
has been published by the University of Florida Press, Gainesville. 
Besides a iew changes in the list of contributing editors there is quite 
a modification in the chronological policy. Whereas Handbook 
No. 18 included only publications issued during 1952, the present 
number includes essentially all of the books and articles published 
in 1953, 1954, 1955, and in the early part of 1956. These additions 
to the bibliography have brought the number of entries up to 4225 
and have increased the size of the volume. The value of the Hand- 
book is well known and appreciated by students of Latin American 


* * * * 

The attention of students of Latin American history may well 
be called to the Anuario de Estudios Americanos, XII, (1955), 
which has recently come in from SeviUa. It is published by the 
Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos, Seccion de Historia de 
America de la Universidad de Sevilla, and is volume 104 of the 
publications under the general auspices of the Consejo Superior 
de Investigaciones Cientificas. This volume runs to about a thou- 
sand pages and contains twelve scholarly articles, a section on 
bibliography and historiography, and one of book reviews. The 
bibliographical lists are broken conveniently down according to coun- 
tries. An unusual feature is the pagination, where the page numbers 
run consecutively at the foot and according to the article at the head 
of the page. 

H: :{; ^ H^ 

The University of Chicago and the University of Virginia are 
sponsoring the publication of a new and complete edition of the 
papers of James Madison. The editors will appreciate information 
about the location of letters by or to James Madison or his wife, 
especially letters in private possession or among uncalendared manu- 
scripts in the collections of public or private institutions. Please 
address The Papers of James Madison, 1126 East 59th Street, 
Chicago 37, Illinois. 




indexer's note 

Names of the contributors are in small capitals; ttiles of articles in 
this volume are in quotation marks; titles of books and periodicals reviewed 
or mentioned are in italics. Book revieivs are entered under author arid title 
of book, and under the name of the revieiver; no entries are made for sub- 
ject of the book except in the case of biographies. The folloiving abbrevia- 
tions are used: tr., translator; ed., editor; reus., revieivs; revd., reviewed. 

Adams, Charles Francis, 159 

Address to Merchants, cited, 8, 10 

A History of Chicago. The Rise of a 
Modern City, III, by Bessie Louise 
Pierce, revd., 240 

Alabama Gazetteer and Business Di- 
rectory, 87 

Alabama Power Company, 90 

Alabama, towns in, 85-95 

Alabama Water Company, 90 

Alegre, Fr. Francisco Javier, 59-60 

Alfredo, Joao, 235 

American Federation of Labor, 41- 
42, 44, 220 

"American Liberalism: Its Meaning 
and Consistency," by John J. 
Whealen, 73-84 

Angle, Paul M., revs., K. P. Wil- 
liams, Lincoln Finds a General, 239 

"A Note on Early Sonora and Ari- 
zona," by Alberto F. Pradeau, 

Anuario de Estudios Americanos, 
noted, 244 

Aquinas, St. Thomas, 81 

Archibald, Adams, 31-37 

Arizona, early, 56-59 

Asiento of 1713, 17-18 

Aubry, Philippe, 106 

Anti-Monopolist (Minn.), 159, 160, 

Aylward, John A., 132, 150 

Baker, Ray Stannard, 176 

Bancroft, Levi, 140 

Banning, William L., 163, 164 

Barnes, J. Mahlon, 216 

Barry, Colman J., Worship and 

Work, revd., by Herman J. Muller, 

Barry, T. B., 49-50 

Beach, Rex, 199 

Beauregard, Gen. Pierre G. T., 71 
Bedford, Duke of, cited, 18 
Beecher, Henry Ward, 165 
Bellamy, Edward, Looking Back- 
ward, cited, 41 
Bell Telephone Company, 93 
Belmont, August, 186 
Beloit Free Press (Wise), 146 
Berger, Victor, 210, 212, 219, 221 
Billington, Monroe, "Thomas P. 
Gore and the Election of Woodrow 
Wilson," 180-191 
Birmarck Tribune (No. Dak.), 198 
Black, Judge John, 22 
Blaine, John J., 132, 153, 154 
Blanchard, Gen. Albert, 69 
Bocayuva, Quintino, 233, 236, 238 
Bolens, Harry, 140-143 
Bolton, Herbert E., cited, 56, 58 
Bonner, Thomas N., Medicine in Chi- 
cago, revd., 192. 
Book Reviews, 112-119, 192, 239-242 
Brazil, military class in, 227-238 
Brewster, Sir Francis, 9 
Briggs, Harold E., revs., Lary Gara, 
Westernized Yankee, The Story of 
Cyrus Woodman, 112-113 
Britain, and slave trade, 5 
"British Business and Spanish Amer- 
ica, 1700-1800," by Herman J. 
Muller, 3-20 
Bragg, Gen. Braxton, 71 
Bryan, William Jennings, 73, 75 ; and 
urban Progressives, 169-179; and 
nativism, 173-179; and Woodrow 
Wilson, 181, 182, 185, 186, 190 
Buccareli, Gen. Antonio, 105 
Burke, Gov. John, 199-206, 208 
Burleson, A. S., 187, 188 
Burlingame Treaty, 53-54 




Burrus, Ernest J., edition of F. J. 
Alegre's Historia de la Provincia 
de la Compailia de Jesus en Neuva 
Espana, noted, 60; cited, 56, 58 

Cabeza de Vaca, Alvar Nunez, 57-58 

Calendar of Philippine Documents in 
the Ayer Collection of the New- 
berry Library, by Paul Lietz, 
noted, 59 

Campbell, Richard, h i s London 
Tradesman, cited, 10, 15 

Caribbean, Spain and England in, 

Carlton, Albert A., 49 

Cartagena, trade, 12 

Cartier, Georges Etienne, 27-28, 36 

Cary, John, his Discourse on Trade, 
cited, 8-9, 11-12, 14, 17-18 

Casado, Rodriguez, cited, 97 

Castanien, Donald G., "General 
O'Reilly's Arrival at New Or- 
leans," 96-111 

Catholics, French, at Red River, 21- 
38; and Knights of Labor, 55-56, 
and Progressivism, 173-175; chap- 
lains in Confederate States, 67-72 

Celso, Affonso, Viscount of Ouro 
Preto, 234-237 

Charles V of Spain, 11 

Chaves, Alfredo, 231 

Chicago History, noted, 63. 

Chomites, 56-58 

Cigar Makers International Union, 

Clark, Champ, 183-187 

Clergy, Catholic, in Confederacy, 67- 
68 n 

Collingwood, Ontario, 21 

Colonia, La Plata, and trade, 4, 17 

Colonia, Don Juan Antonio de la, 105 

Commons, John R., 135-136 

Conde d'Eu, 227, 230 

Confederate States, Congress of, 71- 

Constant, Benjamin, 237-238 

Cooper, George, 142 

Cooper, Peter, 161 

Cotegipe, see Wanderly 

Cramsie, E. A., 164 

Craven, Wesley Frank, The Legend 
of the Founding Fathers, revd., 

Cromwell, Oliver, and Caribbean, 6 

Dahl, Andrew, 133, 152-154 

Daily Oklahoman, 183 

Daly, Robert W., How the Merrimac 

Won, revd., 241 
Daniels, Josephus, 188 

Davidson, James O., 133, 134, 139, 

Davies, Joseph E., 189 
Debs, Eugene V., 210-226 
Defoe, Daniel, cited, 7, 9, 13, 14, 16 
Decker, Sir M., cited, 10-11 
Deodoro, see Fonseca 
Dominion of Canada, formed, 21 
Donald, John S., 151 
Donnelly, Ignatius, 156-168 
Dover Rovers, 6 
Doyen, Bernard, O.M.I., The Calvary 

of Christ on the Rio Grande, revd., 

Drake, Francis, 5 

Ekern, Herman, 142 

Elder, Bishop William Henry, 67-72 

Elizabeth, Queen, and Spanish trade, 

Ely, Richard T., 135-136 
Eaii Claire Telegram (Wise), 154 
"Eugene Debs and the Socialist Cam- 
paign of 1912" by H. Wayne Mor- 
gan, 210-226. 
Eutaiv Whig and Observer (Ala.), 

Fargo Forum (No. Dak.), 197 

Farmers' Alliance, 291 

Federation of Trades and Labor 

Unions, 43 
Figueredo, Carlos Affonso de Assis, 

Fleiuss, Max, 234 
Flys, Jaroslaw, revs., Charles Mc- 

Kew Parr, So Noble a. Captain, 63 
Folwell, William Watts, A History 

of Minnesota, noted, 60 
Fond du Lac Reporter, 141 
Fonseca, Deodoro da, 228-238 
Fonseca, Severiano da, 235 
Fort Gari-y, see Winnipeg 
Frear, James, 143 

Gadboury, Joseph A., 90 

Gara, Larry, Westernized Yankee, 
The Story of Cyrus Woodman, 
revd., 112 

Garber, Harvey, 186 

Gargan, Edward T., revs. Samuel 
Eliot Morison, The Intellectual 
Life of New England, 116, and 
Wesley Frank Craven, The Legend 
of the Founding Fathers, 116-117 

Gayarre, Charles, cited, 97 

"General O'Reilly's Arrival at New 
Orleans," by Donald G. Castan- 
ien, 96-111 

Gentlemen Adventurers, 6 



George, Henry, 136 

Gilliam, J. Robert, 183 

Glaab, Charles N., "The Failure 
of North Dakota Progressivism, 

Glad, Paul W., "Bryan and the 
Urban Progressives," 169-179 

Glorious Revolutions, 6 

Gompers, Samuel, 41-42, 220 

Gore, Sen. Thomas P., 180-191 

Gottman, Jean, Virginia at Mid-Cen- 
tury, noted, 62 

Gould, Jay, 45-48 

Grand Forks Herald (No. Dak.), 
188, 205 

Granger Party, 158, 160-161, 167 

Granville, Lord, 27-37 

Greenback Party, 50-51, in Minne- 
sota, 156-168 

Greene, Howard, and Alice Smith, 
eds.. The Journals of Welcotne 
Arnold Greene, revd., 119 

Gregory, T. W., 187 

Grob, Gerald N., "Terence V. Pow- 
derly and the Knights of Labor," 

Guide to the Manuscripts of the State 
Historical Society of Wisconsin 
Supplement Number One, noted, 

Hakluyt, Richard, cited, 19 

Hamilton, Alexander, 84 

Handbook of Latin American Stud- 
ies, 1957, noted, 244 

Hanna, Gov. L. B., 206-208 

Harmon, Gov. Judson, 184, 186, 187 

Harper's Weekly, 182 

Harvey, George, 182, 225 

Haskell, Gov. C. N., 183 

Hatton, William, 133, 152-154 

Haughen, Nils, 142-143 

Havana, Cuba, 105 

Hayward, William (Bill), 214 

Heath, Sir Robert, 19 

Hillquit, Morris, 212 

Hofstadter, Prof. Richard, 169, 171 

House, Col. Edward M., 190 

Hoiv the Merrimac Won, by R. W. 
Daly, revd., 241 

Howe, Joseph, 30 

Hoxie, H. M., 46-48 

Hudson's Bay Company, 21, 22, 24, 
25, 31 

Hull, Merlin, 133, 141, 153 

Husting, Paul, 150, 154 

"Ignatius Donnelly and the Green- 
back Movement," by Martin Ridge, 

Immigrants, and Progressivism, 173 

Indianapolis, Convention of 1876, 
159-160; Socialist convention of, 

Industrial Age, 157 

International Workers of the World 
(IWW), 212-216, 220 

Isabella, Princess, of Brazil, 235 

Jacobsen, Jerome V., Notes and 
Comments, 59-64, 120-128; revs., 
A History of Chicago. The Rise of 
a Modern City, by Bessie L. 
Pierce, 240; The Journals of Wel- 
come Aimold Greene, 119; "Peter 
Masten Dunne — In Memoriam," 

James Ford Bell Collection, publica- 
tions, 62, 127 

Janesville Gazette (Wise), 141, 146 

Jefferson, Thomas, and Liberalism, 

Johnson, Andrew, 83, 84 

Johnson, Cone, 186 

Johnson, Gov. Hiram, 222-223 

Johnson, Martin N., 197, 198 

Johnson, Peter Leo, Halcyon Days, 
revd. 122 

Joline, Adrian H., 181 

Jones, Richard Lloyd, 151 

Jorndl do Commercio (Brazil), 228, 

Journal of Knights of Labor, 40 

Karel, John C, 132, 140, 141, 144, 
150-152, 154 

Kiniery, Paul, revs., Robert S. Max- 
well, La Follette and the Rise of 
the Progressives in Wisconsin, 113 

Kino, Fr. Eusebio F., 56-58 

Koch, Adrienne, cited, 79, 82 

Korman, Gerd, cited, 134 

Knies, Karl, 135 

Knights of Labor, 39-55 

Ku Klux Klan, 179 

La Crosse Tribune (Wise), 154 
La Follette, Fola, 131, 132 
La Follette, Robert M., 131-146, 198; 
La Follettes Magazine, 150-151; 
La Follette and the Rise of Pro- 
gressives in Wisconsin, revd., 113 
Lake Winnepeg, 21 
Lamb, R. E., C.S.B., "Troops to 

Red River," 21^38 
Lancaster Teller (Wise), 154 
Las Casas, Col. Don Luis de, 109 
Lawson, Thomas, 171 
Lea, Luke, 186 



Liberalism, American, 73-84; and 
see Progressives, Greenback Party, 
Ignatius Donnelly, New Deal Na- 

Lietz, Paul S., Calendar of Philip- 
pine Documents in the Ayer Col- 
lection of the Newberry Library, 
noted, 59 

Lima, Capt. Jose de, 230 

Lincoln Finds a General: A Military 
Study of the Civil War. Juka to 
Vicksburg, IV., revd., 239 

Lindsay, T. R., 178 

Lloyd, Henry D., 168 

Lobo, Leite, 234 

Locke, John, and Jefferson, 76-80, 84 

Los Angeles Times, 222 

Louisiana, 96-111 

Luz, Ribeiro, 233 

Lynch, Bishop Patrick N. of Charles- 
ton, 69, 70 

Macdonald, John A., ministry in Can- 
ada, 22-38 

Madureira, Col, Senna, 229-231 

Mackray, Bishop Robert, 32-33 

Madison Democrat (Wise), 148 

McAdoo, William G., 180, 187, 188 

McCarthy, Charles, 136, 137, 139, 
142, 149, 154 

McCluggage, Robert W., revs. T. N. 
Bonner, Medicine in Chicago, 192 

McClure, S. S., 176, 177 

McCombs, William F., 180, 181, 184, 
187, 188 

McDougall, William, 23-25, 29, 34 

McGill, Bishop John of Richmond, 

McGovern, Gov. Francis E., 132, 135- 
139, 142-145, 148-150, 151 

McKenzie, Alexander, 197-200, 205, 
207 209 

McTavish, J. M., 31-32 

Mange, Fr. Juan Mateo, 56 

Manitoba, 21-38 

Margulies, Herbert F., "The De- 
cline of Wisconsin Progressivism, 
1911-1914," 131-155 

Marion Standard (Ala.), 94 

Martin, Henderson, 186 

Martinez de Hurdaide, Diego, 57-58 

Mattos, Col. Cunha, 230, 231, 232 

Maxwell, Robert M., 132 

Maxwell, Robert S., La Follette and 
the Rise of the Progressives in 
Wisconsin, revd., 113 

Mercantilism, 3 

Metis, P'rench in Canada, 22-38 

Meyer, Balthasar, 135 

Milwaukee, and Socialism, 210, 222 

Milwaukee Free Press, 135, 145 

Milwaukee Sentinal, 148 

Minneapolis, Progressives in, 196 

Minneapolis Lumberman, 164 

Minnesota and Greenbackism, 156- 

Minnesota Historical Society Publi- 
cations, noted, 60 

Minnesota Senate, 161 

Missouri Pacific Railroad, 46 

Montgomery, Alabama, 85-93 

Morgan, H. Wayne, "Eugene Debs 
and the Socialist Campaign of 
1912," 210-226 

Morgan, J. Pierpont, 186 

Morison, Samuel Eliot, The Intellec- 
tual Life in Neiv England, revd., 

Morris, Tom, 151 

Muckrakers, The, 176 

Muller, Herman J., "British Busi- 
ness and Spanish America, 1700- 
1800," 3-20; revs. Colman J. 
Barry, Worship and Work, 118 

Murdock, Sir Clinton, 27, 28 

Murphy, Charles F., 187 

Murray, William H. "Alfalfa Bill," 

Muskogee Daily Phoenix (Okla.), 

Natchez, Miss., 67-72 

Nationalist Movement, 41 

National Labor Union Party, 51 

Nault, Andre, 37 

Neenah News (Wise), 154 

Negro labor, and Powderly, 53 

New Deal, 73, 84 

New Freedom, 73, 84 

Newlands, Francis G., 182-183 

New Orleans, 96-111 

Newton, Bryon C, 181 

New York Sun, 181 

New York Times, 188 

New York World, 178 

Nonpartisan League, 195, 196, 208 

Noonan, J. A., 157 

North Dakota, Progressives in, 195- 

Northrop, Col. Lucius B., 69 
Notes and Comments, 59-64, 120- 

128, 243-244 

Odin, Archbishop John M., of New 

Orleans, 68, 69 
Oklahoma, and Senator Gore, 180- 

Oliveira, Candido de, 237 
Orange Society, in Ontario, 29-30, 38 
O'Reilly, Gen. Alejandro, 96-111 



Oshkosh Northwestern (Wise), 146, 

Ouro Preto, Viscount of, see Celso 
Owen, Thomas H., 181 

Page, Walter Hines, 180 

Palmer, A. Mitchell, 187, 188 

Paraguayan War, 227-228 

Pares, R., cited, 5-6, 11 

Parker, Alton B., 185 

Parker, John, From Lisbon to Cali- 
cut, noted, 62 

Parr, Charles McKew, So Noble a 
Captain, The Life and Times of 
Ferdinand Magellan, noted, 63 

Pedro II, Emperor, Brazil, 227-238 

Peixoto, Floriano, 228 

Pelotas, Viscount of, 228, 230-231, 

Peoples' Party, 5, 201 

"Peter Hasten Dunne — In Memor- 
iam," by Jerome V. Jacobsen, 121- 

Philipp, Emanuel, 131-134, 146-149, 

Philipps, Erasmus, 6-7, 9 

Pierce, IBessie Louise, A History of 
Chicago, III, revd., 240 

Pierce, Charles, 146 

Pillsbury, John S., 163 

Piracy, British, 5 

Political Party Patterns in Michi- 
gan, by Vera H. Sarasohn, noted, 

Pope, J. D., cited, 85 

Populist Movement, 84, 172, 201 

Portobelo, trade in, 4, 12, 13, 17 

Postlethwayt, Malachy, 8, 13 

Powderly, Terence V., 39-55 

Pradeau, Alberto F., "A Note on 
Early Sonora and Arizona," 56- 

Progressive Movement, urban, 169- 
179; in North Dakota, 195-209; 
in Wisconsin, 131-155; and So- 
cialists, 210-226 

Protestantism, and Progressives, 

Propagateur Catholique (New Or- 
leans), 71 

Pym, John, cited, 19 

Quattlebaum, Paul, The Land Called 

Chicora, revd., 124 
Quinlan, Bishop John of Mobile, 68, 

Quivira R., 57 

Racine Times (Wise), 154 

Rat Portage, 33 

Red River of the North, 21-38 

Red River Settlement (Ste Boniface, 

Manitoba), 21-38 
Republican Convention of 1932, 132 
Resumption of Specie Act, 157, 160 
Revolution in America. Confidential 

Letters of Major Baurmeister, 

revd., 114 
Richmond, T. C, 146, 148 
Ridge, Martin, "Ignatius Donnelly 

and the Greenback Movement," 

Riel, Louis, 22-38 
"Rise of the Brazilian Military Class, 

1870-1890," by Charles W. Sim- 
mons, 227-238 
Ritchot, Fr. N. J., 22, 28, 34 
Roethe, Henry, 132-133, 153 
Rogers, Alfred T., 138 
Roosevelt, Franklin D., 73, 75 
Roosevelt, Theodore, 136, 144, 169, 

178, 186, 189, 190, 210, 218, 220, 

222, 223 
Rose, John, 24, 27 
Ross, Edward A., 137, 170 
Rudyard, Sir Benjamin, 19 
Rupert's Land, 21 
Runes, Dagobert D., Treasury of 

World Literature, noted, 61 
Ryan, Thomas F., 186 

Sa, Franco de, 231, 232 

Sarasohn, Vera H., Political Party 
Patterns in Michigan, noted, 125 

Schmitz, A. J., 141 

Scott, Alfred H., 22 

Scott, George E., 142, 151 

Scott, Thomas, 29-SO, 37, 38 

Sea Dogs, 6 

Seidel, Emil, 210, 214, 215, 218 

Selma, Ala., 85-93 

Shiels, W. Eugene, revs. B. Doyen, 
The Cavalry of Christ on the Rio 
Grande, 121; revs. B. Uhlendorf, 
Revolution in America, 114; R. W. 
Daly, How the Merrimac Won, 241 

Silver Purchase Bill, 163 

Simmons, Charles W., "The Rise 
of the Brazilian Military Class, 
1870-1890," 227-238 

SiSK, Glenn N., "Towns of the Ala- 
bama Black Belt, 1875-1917," 85- 

Slave trade, British, 17-18 

Smith, Adam, 135 

Smith, Alice, and Howard Greene, 
eds.. The Journal of Welcome Ar- 
nold Greene, revd., 119 

Smith, Donald, cited, 35-36, 37 

Smith, Hoke, 90 

Smuggling, British, 17 



Socialist Party, 210-226 

Sonora, 56-59 

Sorrel, Washington, 183 

Sovereign, James R., 54 

Spain, colonial trade of, 3-4 

Spalding, Burleigh, 197, 198 

Stasser, Adolph, 42 

Stevens, Harry R., The Early Jack- 
son Party in Ohio, noted, 126 

Stewart, Dr. J. H., 163 

St. Paul, Minn., Progressives in, 196 

St. Paul Globe (Minn.), 163, 164 

St. Paul Pio7ieer Press (Minn.), 161, 

Sullivan, J. B., 186 

Superior Telegrain (Wise), 142, 154 

Tache, Bishop Antonin A., 29-31, 
34, 36 

Taft, William Howard, 144, 174, 186, 

"Terence V. Powderly and the 
Knights of Labor," 39-55 

Texas Pacific Railroad, 46 

"The Bishop of Natchez and the Con- 
federate Chaplaincy," by Willard 

E. Wight, 67-72 

The Cornmoner, 174, 176, 177 
"The Decline of Wisconsin Progres- 
sivism, 1911-1914," by Herbert 

F. Margulies, 131-155 

The Early Jackson Party in Ohio, 
Harry R. Stevens, noted, 126 

"The Failure of North Dakota 
Progressivism," by Charles N. 
Glaab, 195-209 

The Land Called Chicora, by Paul 
Quattlebaum, noted, 124 

The Intellectual Life in New Eng- 
land, by S. E. Morison, revd., 116 

The Legend of the Founding Fathers, 
by W. F. Craven, revd., 117 

The New York Tribune, 159 

The Strait of Anian, Univ. of Minne- 
sota, noted 127 

The William and Mary Quarterly, 
noted, 63 

The Wisconsin Idea, 136, 142, 154 

"Thomas P. Gore and the Election of 
Woodrow Wilson," by Monroe 

BiLLINGTON, 180-191 

Thunder Bay, Ont, 21, 34, 35 

Tordesillas, Treaty of, 3 

Townley, Arthur C, 208-209; see 

Nonpartisan League 
"Towns of the Alabama Black Belt," 

by Glenn N. Sisk, 85-95 
"Troops to Red River," by R. E. 

Lamb, C.S.B., 21-38 

Uhlendorf, Bernard, Revolution in 
America. Confidential Letters and 
Journals 177 6-17 8 A, of Adjutant 
Major Baurmeister of the Hessian 
Forces, Vol. I, revd., 114-116 
Ulloa, Antonio de, 96, 110 
Underwood, Oscar W., 186, 187 
Union Springs Times (Ala.), 91-92 
University of Minnesota, 61, 62 
University of Wisconsin, 135, 136, 

145, 148, 149, 152 
Utman, Bruce, 133, 153 

Van Depole, Charles J., 90 
Van Hise, Charles R., 
Victorian Studies, noted, 127 
Villek, Col. Frias, 229 
Virginia at Mid-Century, by Jean 
Gottman, noted, 62 

Wabash Railroad, 45 

Wanderly, Joao Mauricio, Baron of 

Cotegipe, 228-234 
Wausau Record-Herald (Wise), 146 
Washburn, William D., 163, 165, 166 
Weaver, James B., 25, 166 
Westernized Yankee, The Story of 
Cyrus Woodman, by Larry Gara, 
revd., 112 
Western Union Telegraph Co., 92-93 
West Indies, trade in, 3-20 
Whealen, John J., "American Lib- 
eralism: Its Meaning and Consist- 
ency," 73-84 
Whitworth, Sir Charles, 16 
Wight, Willard E., "The Bishop 
of Natchez and the Confederate 
Chaplaincy," 67-72 
Wilbur Harry, 146 
Williams, Kenneth P., Lincoln Finds 
a General: A Military Study of 
the Civil War, IV, revd., 239 
Wilson, Woodrow, 73, 75, 84, 143, 
150, 210, 223, 225; election of, 
Wiltse, Charles M., 75 
Winnipeg, Canada, 21-38 
Winship, George, 198, 200, 203 
Wisconsin, Progressivism in, 131- 
155; Sen. Gore in, 184-185; see 
also University of 
Wisconsin State Journal, 142, 151, 

Wolesley, Col. Garnet J., 21-38 
Wood, William, cited, 7, 11, 14 
Worship and Work, by Colman 
Barry, revd., 118 

Young's Directory (Ala.), 87. 



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